Multi-species swards and multi-scale strategies for multifunctional grassland-based ruminant production systems: An overview of the FP7 MultiSward project.

J.-L. Peyraud, Agnes van den Pol-van Dasselaar, Rosemary Patricia Collins, Olivier Huguenin-elie, Pat Dillon, Alain Peeters

Allbwn ymchwil: Pennod mewn Llyfr/Adroddiad/Trafodion CynhadleddTrafodion Cynhadledd (Nid-Cyfnodolyn fathau)


MultiSward aimed to conceive, evaluate and promote sustainable ruminant production systems based on the use of grasslands with a high level of multi-functionality by the concerted use of diverse multi-species swards, diverse plant communities at farm and landscape levels, and diverse production systems. It was demonstrated that the use of sown multi-species swards combining legumes and grasses as well as shallow and deep-rooting species are as productive as fertilized grasses; they allow high levels of animal performance and these results are not conflicting with the delivery of a range of services. For permanent grassland, differentiated grassland management and climate variables influencing functional diversity criteria linked to ecosystem services were identified. Several innovations in grazing management were proposed to enhance the benefits of grassland-based systems. Different operational indicators sets easily implemented at farm and at landscape levels were developed and demonstrate the contribution of grassland-based systems and effects of management on the provision of food and environmental services including the maintenance of farmland biodiversity. Modelling of several policy options and price hypothesis showed that extensive grassland abandonment may be prevented by area payment supporting grassland use, whereas lower Common Agricultural Policy support payments and higher commodity prices may cause less control of land use. In conclusion, MultiSward provided a detailed EU-wide and multifunctional-orientated overview of grassland-based ruminant production systems thus opening the opportunity to define, on a new basis, the contribution of ruminant production on grassland to economic returns for farmers, biodiversity conservation and provision of ecosystem services. This will lead to a better consideration and acceptance of these ruminant production systems by EU citizens and farmers, and will contribute to secure optimal European grassland acreage.
Iaith wreiddiolSaesneg
TeitlGrassland Science in Europe
Is-deitlProceedings of General Meeting of the European Grassland federation
GolygyddionHopkins Alan, Rosemary Collins, Mariecia Fraser, Vicky King, David Lloyd , Jon Moorby, Paul Robson
Man cyhoeddiWales
Nifer y tudalennau21
StatwsCyhoeddwyd - Medi 2014

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