Wood-pastures are gaining importance in various parts of the planet, either for their role in combating desertification, protecting endemic faunas and flora, or their role in animal welfare or nutritional value in all year round grazing systems. On Pico Island and on other islands in the Azores, farmers have been using tree pastures for a long time, especially in the winter, when there is a shortage of grass and the climate is harsh, mainly because of the wind. The studied pasture comprises a mixture of grasses, based on ryegrass (Lolium perenne), white clover (Trifolum repens), tufted grass (Holcus lanatus) and lambs’ tongue (Plantago lanceolata), on the border of trees, grasses and shrubs. As trees and shrubs, there is incense (Pittosporum undulatum), holly (Ilex perado), ginger lily (Hedychium gardnerianum) and acacia (Acacia melanoxylon). The wood pastures, according to the results achieved by us, can be used for animal feed in the livestock production of Pico Island, mainly for meat production. However, further studies should be carried out to assess the impact of the use of wood pastures on the production system, on the mitigation of greenhouse gases produced by animal production and on animal welfare.
Key words: Wood-pastures, unconventional forages, Pico Island, grasses, trees and shrubs.
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