Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #194255

Title: PHOTOSYNTHETICALLY ACTIVE RADIATION RELATIONSHIP TO FORAGE YIELD IN CENTRAL APPALACHIAN SILVOPASTURES

Author
item Feldhake, Charles
item Belesky, David
item Neel, James - Jim

Submitted to: Southern Pasture and Forage Crop Improvement Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/10/2006
Publication Date: 4/1/2006
Citation: Feldhake, C.M., Belesky, D.P., Neel, J.P. 2006. Photosynthetically active radiation relationship to forage yield in Central Appalachian silvopastures . In: Proc. 60th Southern Pasture and Forage Crop Improvement Conf. April 12-13. Auburn, AL pp 20-25. CD-ROM.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Silvopastoral management systems present a challenge since photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) must be partitioned between trees and a forage understory in a manner that meets the economic objectives of the producer. This proceedings paper summarizes five research projects with different tree species and spatial configurations. The projects include both thinning existing forest to establish forage, and planting trees in existing pasture. Forages yielded as well or slightly better with a partial overstory of 8 to 10 year old black locust, black walnut and honey locust compared to open pasture. Forages in thinned mixed hardwood did not yield as well as in nearby open pasture however there were soil limitations confounding the response to reduced PAR. The same was true of forages growing within a stand of mixed northern conifers. Forages growing in a thinned forest receive a shorter effective day of high PAR compared to open field sites, however, forages under trees planted in north-south oriented rows can have a longer effective day length than forages growing mid-alley between rows. Forages growing in association with trees were not impacted by precipitation levels differently than forages in open pasture suggesting increased competition for water with trees is offset by cooler temperatures and less evaporative demand in partial shade.