Agroforestry systems, social forestry, wildlife, integrating animals, management of animals, animal density, forest ecosystem, farm biodiversity, silvopastoral agroforestry, arable agriculture, pests, microclimate, maintenance
Most modern systems of raising animals separate animals from their natural environment. In these systems, many of the cycles of nature which are beneficial to both animals and their environment are broken.
The use of animals can be a controversial topic. In many situations, especially in the tropics, animals such as cattle, goats and sheep are associated with ecological degradation and deforestation. There is no doubt that the inappropriate use of animals and poor management leads to many environmental problems. However, this does not necessarily have to be the case.
If planned and managed properly, appropriate kinds of animals can be key components in sustainable farming systems. Agroforestry systems that incorporate animals with tree crops can enhance important cycles of nature such as nutrient cycling and balancing of insect populations while reducing energy intensive management techniques. The key is to integrate the natural needs, behaviours, and products of animals with the environment provided by the agroforestry system in a way that maximizes the benefits to the animals and to the system as a whole.
[...] Often these excesses are controlled through human intervention--weed cutting, insect control, etc. Animals, when selected carefully for the right agroforestry system can carry out many of the maintenance functions through their normal behavior. SOME PRODUCTS AND SERVICES OF AGROFORESTRY SYSTEMS FOR ANIMAL HUSBANDRY FAVORABLE HABITAT access to a diverse diet access to medicinal plants and insects natural population density Bill Mollison's "Chicken and egg" example from the Permaculture Designer's Manual is a classic approach to systems thinking as it pertains to animals. [...]
[...] Effects of agroforestry on farm biodiversity in the UK Paul J. Burgess, Cranfield University, Silsoe, Bedfordshire, MK45 4DT Summary One advantage claimed for agroforestry is that it can bring onto farmland some of the biodiversity benefits associated with woodlands. The aim of this paper is to review recent research in order to describe the potential impact of agroforestry systems on the diversity of plants and animals on British farms. The review suggests that the introduction of silvopastoral systems can lead to an increase in the diversity of invertebrates and perhaps birds on grassland farms. [...]
[...] This study proposes a review of the literature on the impact of wildlife in many areas of the world. In particular, it examines the negative effects due to the strong growth of wildlife populations and consequently the loss of the balance of agricultural and forest ecosystems. A second portion of the study shows the results of an investigation related to the rural area of the Region of Tuscany: Recreation-Opportunity-Spectrum - ROS (North American Methodology) implemented in Geographical Information System - GIS, is used with the aim of determining suitable areas for damages by wild animals. [...]
[...] National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. [...]
[...] In most commercial production systems, chickens are caged in large facilities. Food, water, and grit are provided to them via a massive, energy-intensive infrastructure of farming and transportation. In this unnatural and crowded environment, chickens are often stressed, and producers therefore also supply them with medication from the pharmaceutical industry. The manure from these factory-like facilities is in many cases considered a pollutant, and in some cases is contaminated. The resulting products of eggs or meat are questionable in quality in the eyes of many consumers. [...]
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