Intensive Silvopastoral Systems: Economics and Contribution to Climate Change Mitigation and Public Policies

  • Julián CharáEmail author
  • Julián Rivera
  • Rolando Barahona
  • Enrique Murgueitio R.
  • Claus Deblitz
  • Ernesto Reyes
  • Rogerio Martins Mauricio
  • Juan José Molina
  • Martha Flores
  • Andrés Zuluaga
Part of the Advances in Agroforestry book series (ADAG, volume 12)


Intensive Silvopastoral Systems (ISPS) are agroforestry arrangements that combine high-density cultivation of fodder shrubs (4000–40,000 plants ha−1) with improved tropical grasses, and trees or palms at densities of 100–600 individuals ha−1. The ISPS were initially developed in Colombia and have expanded to Mexico and Brazil, among other countries. The main fodder shrubs currently used are Leucaena leucocephala and Tithonia diversifolia due to their fast growth, tolerance to heavy grazing by cattle, and reduction in the emissions of greenhouse gases. Among their advantages, ISPS produce more edible dry matter and nutrients per hectare; increase milk or meat production while reducing the need of chemical fertilizers and concentrate feeds, thus improving farm profitability; increase carbon sequestration and reduce methane emissions from enteric fermentation; and improve animal welfare and biodiversity. The present chapter is a review of recent experiences and research findings in ISPS in Latin America and their effect on production efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions, and economic performance. It also reviews the need of public policy and research to improve access to capital, incentives, and extension services in cattle ranching areas to promote ISPS. ISPS are an important tool in supplying beef and dairy products for local and global markets, while also providing environmental services and increasing resilience to climate change.


Cattle ranching Greenhouse gases Leucaena Methane Tithonia 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julián Chará
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Julián Rivera
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rolando Barahona
    • 3
  • Enrique Murgueitio R.
    • 1
    • 2
  • Claus Deblitz
    • 4
  • Ernesto Reyes
    • 4
  • Rogerio Martins Mauricio
    • 5
  • Juan José Molina
    • 1
    • 6
  • Martha Flores
    • 7
  • Andrés Zuluaga
    • 2
    • 8
  1. 1.Centro para la Investigación en Sistemas Sostenibles de Producción Agropecuaria, CIPAVCaliColombia
  2. 2.Mainstreaming Sustainable Cattle Ranching ProjectBogotáColombia
  3. 3.Universidad Nacional de ColombiaMedellínColombia
  4. 4.Agri benchmark Network-Thünen Institute of Farm EconomicsBraunschweigGermany
  5. 5.Universidade Federal de São João del ReiSão João del ReiBrazil
  6. 6.Reserva Natural El HaticoCaliColombia
  7. 7.Fundación Produce MichoacánMoreliaMexico
  8. 8.FEDEGANBogotáColombia

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