Tree Cover on Cattle Farms in the Southeast Region of Guatemala
American Journal of Agriculture and Forestry
Volume 7, Issue 2, March 2019, Pages: 66-77
Received: Feb. 26, 2019; Accepted: Apr. 9, 2019; Published: May 7, 2019
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Jennifer Solis, Agroforestry and Sustainable Agriculture, Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), Turrialba, Costa Rica
Cristóbal Villanueva, Agroforestry and Sustainable Agriculture Program, CATIE, Turrialba, Costa Rica
Guillermo Detlefsen, Agroforestry and Sustainable Agriculture Program, CATIE, Turrialba, Costa Rica
Christian Brenes, Forest, Biodiversity and Climate Change Program, CATIE, Turrialba, Costa Rica
Sergio Vilchez, Unit of Biostatistics, CATIE, Turrialba, Costa Rica
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Often livestock activity is related to deforestation and loss of natural resources such as soil and water quality and quantity. The strategies that come from this perception seek the minimization of livestock effect of greenhouse gas emissions into the environment. Silvopastoral systems is been used as an alternative to increase tree cover on livestock farms, mitigate the effects of climate change, and make farmers more resilient to these. Tree cover plays an important role inside of this system, they can help with the optimization of the land use on the farm and it provides socioeconomical and environmental benefits to the farmers. Therefore, the objective of this study was to characterize livestock farms and the floristic composition of tree cover in the southeast region of Guatemala. This region belongs to the dry corridor of Central America and present high vulnerability to drought. Thirty farms were selected using seven criteria, on each farms a socioeconomical survey was applied to recollect biophysical, socioeconomical and productive information. Two groups of farms were identified: 1) farms with high level technological innovation (HLTI) and 2) farms with low level of technological innovation (LLTI). Tree data were obtained from individuals with diameter above breast height (DBH) of >5 cm. Composition, richness and abundance of tree species were evaluated using Q-Hill Diversity Index. Seven land uses were identified: scattered trees in paddocks, natural forest, agrisilvicultural systems, fodder banks, forest plantations, riparian forest and living fences. Study area were 790 ha in which there were 143 plots distributed randomly, living fences were present in 1.691 km (169.1 ha) with 44 transects. A total of 4,678 trees, from 37 families and 83 species, were found in the area. The most abundant families were Fabaceae and Pinaceae. The most common tree species for timber were Pinus spp and Quercus spp and for non-timber were Gliricidia sepium and Acacia pennatula. It was found that 77.27% of the total inventory is dominated by ten species. We conclude that farmers consider tree cover of importance, this is reflected in the 29% of tree cover found inside of natural forests, 26.2% in scattered trees in paddocks and 7.9% in forest plantations. There were marked differences of richness by individuals, density of species accumulated by land use and diametrical class.
Dry Region, Floristic Composition, Livestock Farm Typologies, Richness and Abundance of Species, Silvopastoral Systems
To cite this article
Jennifer Solis, Cristóbal Villanueva, Guillermo Detlefsen, Christian Brenes, Sergio Vilchez, Tree Cover on Cattle Farms in the Southeast Region of Guatemala, American Journal of Agriculture and Forestry. Vol. 7, No. 2, 2019, pp. 66-77. doi: 10.11648/j.ajaf.20190702.14
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