Grazed oak woodlands in Sardinia

Description of system

Semi-extensive livestock farming occupies about 50% of the total area of Sardinia (24090 km2), and about half of this grazed area belongs to the category “other wooded areas”. In addition, forests occupy about 5800 km2 in Sardinia, and about 30% (1800 km2) are considered to be of high nature value. Hence much of the Sardinian rural landscape is characterized by a mosaic of agroforestry systems including grazed forests and wooded grasslands where scattered Quercus species (holm oak, cork oak and deciduous oak trees) are mixed with permanent or temporary pastures or intercropped with cereals and/or fodder crops.

Initial stakeholder meeting

The first meeting of the stakeholder group was help on 9 July 2014 at Foresta Demaniale di Monte Pisanu (Bono) in Sardinia. The meeting was attended by 15 stakeholders from various backgrounds including farmers, researchers, and policy makers. The highly ranked positive attributes of the agroforestry system were the diverse and high quality of the products, the high value of the cultural landscape, and the reduction of fire risk. One of the research issues that emerged was the need to improve the quality and quantity of the pasture component of the silvopastoral systems.
If you would like to know about the activity of this group, please contact Dr. Antonello Franca <a href="">(</a> at the Institute of Animal Production System in Mediterranean Environment (CNR-ISPAAM).

Download the initial stakeholder report

An initial stakeholder report was produced in September 2014.

Download the initial research and development protocol

A research and development protocol was produced in March 2015.

Download the system description

A system description describing some initial results, including pasture diversity, was produced in December 2015.

Lessons learnt

Antonello Franca and his colleagues describe the lessons learnt from their research on legumes in the wood pastures of Sardinia. 

  • The first part of the report describes one site with 10-40 trees per hectare, and another with 450 trees per hectare.  At each site the productivity of two legume mixtures was compared to natural vegetation in “shaded” and “unshaded” areas.  Dry matter production of the pasture and the mixtures was reduced by shade. Legume species which seemed more resilient to shade have been identified.
  • The second half of the report focuses on the effect of grazing on the seed bank in the wood pastures of Monte Pisanu in Central Sardinia. The number of legumes in the seed bank can be increased through grazing management and phosphorus fertilization.

Download the innovation leaflets

08_Shade_tolerant_legumes.pdf (553.5 KiB)