Native Trees and Shrubs for Ecosystems Services and the Redesign of Resilient Livestock Production Systems in the Mexican Neotropics

Francisco Javier Solorio Sánchez, Luis Ramírez-Avilés, Saikat Kumar Basu, Liz Trenchard, Lucero Sarabia, Julia Wright, Carlos Aguilar, Baldomero Solorio, Armin Ayala, Juan Ku

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Animal production systems in the tropics are currently based mainly on the grazing of animals in the fallow lands and pastures. Conventional livestock systems such as these are, however, strongly affected by limited precipitation. During dry periods, biomass production is reduced; this in turn affects the quality of animal diet and ultimately negatively affects livestock productivity. Often natural woody vegetation is removed to provide grazing areas. In regions where there are competing demands for natural resources, alternative approaches to livestock production which include a tree or shrub component can have many benefits both for the conservation of natural resources and for improved food security. Integration of native trees and shrubs along with grasses in the fallow pastures could improve plant productivity, nutritional quality of animal diet and help in sustaining natural biodiversity of the local ecosystems. A significant contribution to the future livestock systems could be made with the reforestation of the degraded land pastures. Reforesting would lead to increased water use efficiency, thereby reducing the impact of pests and diseases. Through sequestration of carbon they contribute towards climate mitigation in the form of methane reduction from the ruminants by improving the quality of animal diet with foliage trees and shrubs. Integration of different trees and shrub species in the livestock systems will integrate agroecosystems services for long-term ecological sustainability. Furthermore, incorporating trees and shrubs into the animal systems production will also improve habitat for the local wildlife.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiodiversity and Conservation of Woody Plants
EditorsM. R. Ahuja, S. Mohan Jain
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-66426-2
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-66425-5
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2017

Publication series

NameSustainable Development and Biodiversity
PublisherSpringer, Cham
ISSN (Print)2352-474X


  • Ecosystems services
  • Greenhouse gasses
  • Livestock systems
  • Native tree species
  • Silvopastoral systems

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