Family Farming Knowledge Platform

New approaches for grassland research in a context of climate and socio-economic changes

Grassland-based systems are no longer seen exclusively as livestock production enterprises but as multiple use systems with important consequences for the global environment. They are crucial for the protection of ecosystem goods and services, for tourism and for mitigating climate change. Well-managed grasslands provide important benefits such as increased water infiltration and retention or improved nutrient cycling, associated with organic matter accumulation in the soil, as well as increased plant growth and diversity of species. Thereby grassland management is also an adaptation strategy for climate change, as it reduces the risks associated with prolonged drought periods and unreliable rains that characterise Mediterranean regions. There is an urgent need to assess the interaction between climate change and grasslands to identify appropriate options that can help farmers to manage forage resources under increasing drought conditions and market globalisation. The challenge is then to improve grassland productivity, pasture persistence and resilience under these constraints. Scientific advances in grassland management and new strategies in plant improvement may undoubtedly contribute to this aim. 

Title of publication: Options Méditerranéennes Series A: Mediterranean Seminars
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Issue: 102
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Author: Z. Acar
Other authors: A. López-Francos, C. Porqueddu
Organization: International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM)
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Year: 2012
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Country/ies: Algeria, Egypt, Italy, Morocco, Pakistan, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey
Geographical coverage: Europe and Central Asia, Near East and North Africa
Type: Journal
Content language: English
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