Title: MICROCLIMATE RESPONSES TO SHADE IN TEMPERATE SILVOPASTURE
Buergler, A - VIRGINIA TECH
Fike, J - VIRGINIA TECH
Burger, J - VIRGINIA TECH
Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 2003
Publication Date: December 1, 2003
Citation: Buergler, A.L., Fike, J.H., Burger, J.A., Feldhake, C.M. 2003. Microclimate responses to shade in temperate silvopasture. In Annual Meetings Abstracts (CD-ROM). ASA, CSSA, and SSSA, Madison, WI.
Incorporating trees into pasture may improve microclimate conditions for forage production. In 1995, black walnut and honey locust saplings were planted within plots of fescue pasture. Within each plot, four rows of each tree species were planted down a 12% slope with spacings to create conditions of low, medium, and high shading intensity. Photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), soil moisture, soil surface and canopy temperatures were measured in August 2002 to determine shading effects. PAR was greatest with low shade and decreased with increasing shade. Soil moisture did not differ between high and low shade. Sites under medium shading had less moisture (15.2 vs. 17.2%; P=0.01), likely due to greater forage production. Afternoon soil surface and forage canopy temperatures were lower under medium and high shade compared to low shade (P=0.01). Greater shade also decreased daily temperature extremes. Conditions of low PAR or elevated soil surface and forage canopy temperatures may limit forage production. Our data suggest soil surface and forage canopy temperatures were well moderated by medium shade while the concomitant reduction of PAR did not limit cool season forage production. Forage production was 15% greater under medium shade. Moderate shading in silvopasture optimizes microclimate resources for cool season forage production in temperate Appalachia.