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What Works in Conservation 2020

William J. Sutherland
Lynn V. Dicks
Silviu O. Petrovan
et al.

12. Enhancing soil fertility

12.4 Livestock and pasture farming

Texte intégral

Likely to be beneficial

Reduce grazing intensity

1Compaction: One replicated study from Australia found compacted soils recovered when sheep were excluded for 2.5 years.

2Erosion: Two replicated studies from New Zealand, and Syria (one also controlled) measured the effect of grazing animals on soil nutrient and sediment loss. Of these, one trial found increased soil carbon and nitrogen when grazing animals were excluded. One trial found higher soil phosphate levels, and less sediment erosion when grazing time in forage crops was reduced.

3Soil types covered: clay, clay-loam, loamy, silt-loam.

4Assessment: likely to be beneficial (effectiveness 51 %; certainty 58 %; harms 14 %).


Trade-off between benefit and harms

Restore or create low input grasslands

6Biodiversity: One randomized, replicated trial in the Netherlands and one controlled trial from France found that restoring grasslands increased the diversity of soil animals. One trial also found higher microbial biomass, activity and carbon under grassland.

7Soil types covered: sandy loam, silty.

8Assessment: trade-offs between benefit and harms (effectiveness 53 %; certainty 59 %; harms 32 %).


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