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Forage production of woody fodder species and herbaceous vegetation in a silvopastoral system in northern Greece


Introduction of woody plants in silvopastoral systems could be an appropriate land-use for the poor sandy soils of the Mediterranean semiarid zone. Forage production of four woody fodder species and herbaceous vegetation in relation to plant spacing and animal (sheep) grazing was studied in a silvopastoral system on such a site in Macedonia, northern Greece. The woody fodder species tested were Robinia pseudoacacia L., Gleditsia triacanthos L., Amorpha fruticosa L. and Morus alba L. They were planted at the spacings 1.5 × 1.5 m,2.5 × 2.5 m and 3.5 × 3.5 m and kept in a shrubby form by topping. They were grazed by sheep (stocking rate of 1.1 sheep/ha/year) in early July and late August of 1992, 1993 and 1994. Among the species Robinia yielded the highest forage production (394 kg/ha). The spacing 1.5 × 1.5 m had the highest (P ≥ 0.05) forage production per area unit (280 kg/ha) while the spacing 3.5 × 3.5 m had the highest forage production per plant (91.8 g/plant). No competition was observed between the woody and the herbaceous plants in the various spacings probably due to topping of the woody species every winter. Percent utilisation of the native herbage dropped as forage of the woody species increased.

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Ainalis, A.B., Tsiouvaras, C.N. Forage production of woody fodder species and herbaceous vegetation in a silvopastoral system in northern Greece. Agroforestry Systems 42, 1–11 (1998).

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  • Robinia pseudoacacia
  • semiarid zone
  • sheep
  • summer grazing
  • wood deciduous fodder species