The increase of global population and lack of available land evidences the challenge of raising the yield of the agricultural sector in the coming decades. The Silvopastoral system is an efficient alternative to intensify animal and crop production. However, the adoption of this kind of system carries a high uncertainty level about the quantitative impact caused by the addition of the trees in the pasture growth. Canopy competition for light among species plays an essential role in a successful intercropping system, followed by below-ground competition for water and nutrients. Functional-Structural Plant (FSP) models can be used to quantify and provide substantial information of competition for light in heterogeneous canopies. Therefore, based on a dataset already collected in different Brazilian regions, this project aims to apply a FSP model to study the competition for radiation that occurs in the silvopastoral system, understanding and quantify the interactions between the tree and forage components. In this way, the model can be a valuable tool to aid in informed decision making, define the optimal rows and arrangement of the trees, and help design a more efficient system.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: