Canalis, Caterina (2017) Externalities in ruminant farms in Sardinia: Landscape and Water Footprint. Doctoral Thesis.
This thesis focuses on the sustainability of livestock production in Sardinia, considering some externalities, Landscape, Ecosystem services and Water Footprint. The use of environmental resources as farm externalities, under the Common Agricultural Policies (CAP) framework, was reviewed. Two specific indexes were developed (Livestock Index and Grazing Impact Index), and georeferenced maps were made to determine the environmental impact of stocking rate and identify overgrazed areas. Livestock is important to utilize and valorize large areas in Sardinia, especially those at risk of abandonment, thus livestock agroforestry was studied as a mean to improve the ecosystem services of Sardinian farms, by quantifying the surface utilized and evaluating sustainability based on the livestock and grazing impact indexes. Results showed that livestock agroforestry is an important environmental resource for animal production in Mediterranean areas, but it would be fundamental to reduce stocking rates to avoid the potential harmful effects of overgrazing on landscape productivity and value. A new approach to calculate the water footprint of meat and milk, the Net Water Footprint (WFPnet), was developed and compared with the Water Footprint (WFP) in different production scenarios. For meat production, WFPnet values were equal to 5% and 54% of those obtained with the WFP calculation, whereas for milk production the WFPnet were equal to 4% and 63% of those calculated with the WFP method.
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