Salis, Lorenzo (2011) Meditteranean grazing systems and plant biodiversity. Doctoral Thesis.
Mediterranean grazing systems are biological structures considered hot spot of biodiversity. Dehesa is a Mediterranean agroforesty grazing system, where grassland and grazing management can affect the pasture biodiversity. With the aim to study the effect of grazing system typologies (GS) and grassland management (GM) on pasture biodiversity a study was carried out in six livestock farms located into the Dehesa landscape of Sardinia Island. Farms were characterized for some structural and economic traits. Sampling areas were located in thirteen pastures of farms characterized by different GS (beef and dairy cattle and dairy sheep), and by different type of GM (short, medium and long rotation with forage crops). The effects of GS and GM were evaluated on pedological characteristic, forage production and botanical composition of pasture. Chemical fertility parameters of soil, herbage mass and balance between botanical families in pasture were influenced by GS. GM affected herbage mass only the first year. The thirteen pastures were, also, clustered in three groups based on their floristic affinities. The groups didn’t show differences in species richness and Shannon diversity index. Group 3, which includes two pastures of beef cattle farm, showed a strongly lower grazing value than group 1 and 2. Canonical correspondence analysis pointed out that GS and soil organic carbon were the factors that mostly have affected the assemblage composition of groups.
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