PACTORES is pleased to share this video by Alfonso San Miguel (Professor at the Forestry School, Polytechnic University of Madrid), which discusses the mutually beneficial relationship between extensive farming practices and forest ecosystems.
Forests are often excluded from consideration as lands suitable for grazing and livestock farming. However, as elaborated upon in the video, forests in fact play a vital role in extensive livestock farming, providing (among other benefits):
- shade for the animals during extremely hot weather, wherein they can maintain healthy physiological conditions
- a microclimate created by the forest cover which sustains grasses for grazing through the colder winter months
- a source of food, directly from shrubs, grasses, and trees, and including fruits such as acorns
Simultaneously, the grazing animals support vital ecosystem functions, including:
- improved nutrient recycling, which improves the fertility and water retention capacity of the soil
- healthy maintenance of vegetation which enhances capture of atmospheric CO2
- increased distribution of seeds
- maintenance of habitats for other species
- reduced risk of forest fires by natural biomass pruning
Learn more and enjoy the full video, “Extensive livestock farming and its natural environment,” published by the Government of La Rioja.