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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Optimal management of cattle grazing in a seasonally dry tropical forest ecosystem under rainfall fluctuations

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Souza, Rodolfo [1, 2] ; Hartzell, Samantha [3] ; Feng, Xue [4] ; Dantas Antonino, Antonio Celso [5, 2] ; de Souza, Eduardo Soares [6, 2] ; Cezar Menezes, Romulo Simoes [5, 2] ; Porporato, Amilcare [3]
Total Authors: 7
[1] Univ Sao Paulo, Inst Astron Geophys & Atmospher Sci, Sao Paulo - Brazil
[2] Natl Observ Water & Carbon Dynam Caatinga Biome, Recife, PE - Brazil
[3] Princeton Univ, Princeton, NJ 08544 - USA
[4] Univ Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN - USA
[5] Univ Fed Pernambuco, Recife, PE - Brazil
[6] Univ Fed Rural Pernambuco, Serra Talhada - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 6
Document type: Journal article
Source: Journal of Hydrology; v. 588, SEP 2020.
Web of Science Citations: 0

Climate change will likely trigger shifts in rainfall regimes that may intensify water scarcity in semi-arid regions. In the semi-arid region of Brazil, the seasonally dry ecosystem is the primary source of forage for livestock. Because the correct stocking rate of livestock (animals per area) is not well understood, overgrazing tends to advance rangeland degradation in this ecosystem. This implies that the region may become even more vulnerable under changing rainfall regimes, which in turn may exacerbate livestock and food insecurity. We developed a coupled soil water balance, vegetation, and cattle biomass model to illustrate the impacts of rainfall seasonality on the dynamics of vegetation and animal growth. The outcomes were simulated by considering different stocking rates and the timing of animal placement and removal from the rangeland. A more pronounced reduction in vegetation biomass was found in grazed vs. non-grazed paddocks. Under strongly seasonal rainfall patterns, the maximum animal weight gain decreases with average rainfall inter-arrival time and increases with total annual rainfall. Thus, a forecast of dry spells could benefit farmers in planning grazing management strategies. Our model can be used to test different management scenarios and give feedback for local herders, and to guide future experiments to reduce the time and cost of acquiring data. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 19/21426-2 - Hidroclimatology of sites in Cerrado and Atlantic Forest biomes
Grantee:Rodolfo Marcondes Silva Souza
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate