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What Works in Conservation 2018

William J. Sutherland
Lynn V. Dicks
Nancy Ockendon
et al.

12. Enhancing soil fertility

12.4. Livestock and pasture farming

Texte intégral

Likely to be beneficial

● Reduce grazing intensity

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

2 Erosion: 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.

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

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


Trade-off between benefit and harms

● Restore or create low input grasslands

6 Biodiversity: 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.

7 Soil types covered: sandy loam, silty.

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


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