Dehesa of Majadas
Take me to the farm

Dehesa of Majadas

Spain, 2014

Dehesa of Majadas is a public farm, owned by the municipality. The land is rented to livestock farmers, mainly for cattle breeding. The farm also produces cork and firewood. Research focuses on greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration in a livestock based farm, effect of nutrient imbalances on water availability as well as tree and pasture phenology and ecosystem functions using remote sensing.

SilvoarableSilvopastoralMixed farmingDOK trialSwitzerland1978Dehesa of MajadasSpain2014ArninoItaly2014Lamartine agroforestry siteFrance1989Restinclières AgroforestryPlatformFrance1995Tenuta di PaganicoItaly2014WakelynsUnited Kingdom1992Agroforestry Research PlatformAFBIUnited Kingdom19891DOK trial7Wakelyns8Restinclières2Dehesa of Majadas4Tenuta di Paganico5Lamartine3Arnino6AFBI

Farming system

Silvopastoral

Size

300
ha
200
ha
Monitored

Temperature

17.7º
C
MAT*
650
mm
MAP**

Treatments

No fertilisation
Mineral fertilizer
Farmyard manure
Mineral fertilizer

Components

Trees
Crops
Animals

Design

-
* MAT: Medium Average Temperature 
  ** MAP: Medium Average Precipitation
Aim
To investigate the functioning of silvopastures extensively grazed with an emphasis on quantifying the contribution of trees to pasture production and quality, soil carbon sequestration and biodiversity of the whole system (compare to open treeless pastures), and management schemes for the adaptation and mitigation of climate change.
AGROMIX Project - Dehesa of Mahadas
AGROMIX Project - Dehesa of Mahadas

We have a long trajectory studying the functioning of Iberian dehesas as model of traditional agroforestry, testing alternative management practices to face the multiple ecological and economic challenges that threaten the persistence of this and other traditional agroforestry systems”
Gerardo Moreno
Universidad de Extremadura
Key findings
Trees and shrubs are sources of forage resources that help to overcome seasonal limitations of grass understory growth in dehesas. Shrub understory favors tree recruitment and regeneration ensuring the stability (long persistence) of the system.
Trees provide refuge and fodder for many species, creating ecological niches for a wide range of organisms. As a result, dehesas are frequently more biodiverse than adjacent forests and open pastures.
A combined pasture production, tree regeneration and growth, fruit production and livestock production and welfare assessment is needed to design sustainable management schemes.
Trees reinforce the carbon sequestration capacity grazing systems, allowing for offsetting the greenhouse gas emissions associated with livestock rearing.
Trees can favor pasture production through the improvement of soil physical and chemical fertility, but trees and pasture also compete for soil water and light; tree density and management practices must be designed to optimize overstory-understory interactions and outcomes.

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Contact
Partner
Gerardo Moreno
Publications
Moreno G et al. 2018. Agroforestry systems of high nature and cultural value in Europe: provision of commercial goods and other ecosystem services. Agroforestry Systems 92(4), 877-891.  
El-Madany TS, G Moreno et al (2018). Drivers of spatio-temporal variability of carbon dioxide and energy fluxes in a Mediterranean savanna ecosystem. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 262, 258-278.  
Rolo V, Moreno G. 2019. Shrub encroachment and climate change increase the exposure to drought of Mediterranean wood-pastures. Science of the Total Environment 660, 550-558  
Rolo V, Moreno G et al. 2020. Challenges and innovations for improving the sustainability of European agroforestry systems of high nature and cultural value: stakeholder perspectives. Sustainability Science 15, 1301–1315.
Website link: INDEHESA. Instituto de Investigación de la Dehesa. Universidad de Extremadura (https://indehesa.unex.es/)

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COORDINATOR
Dr. Sara Burbi - Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience - Coventry University, Ryton Gardens Campus, CV8 LG, UK
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