327, rue A.L. De Jussieu, 34090 Montpellier France
- Key words: arid and semiarid zone, agroforestry, sylvopastoralism, erosion, drought
- Page(s) : 343-8
- Published in: 2006
Fodder shrubs, either naturally established or set up by man, constitute a feed reserve for livestock and wildlife in periods of inter-seasonal or inter-annual drought. There are nearly 10 million hectares of those in the world arid and semiarid lands today, about a third of them planted by man. They occur under all types of arid climates: Mediterranean, tropical, temperate. They belong to a relatively small number of genera and species from various families, including a number of legumes. Their productivity is far above that of rangelands under similar ecological conditions. In addition to constituting a feed reserve and thus being amenable to improving animal performance, they offer a number of ecological benefits, such as erosion control, landscape amenities, and struggle against desertization. But they are also subject to a number of constraints pertaining to land tenure and ownership, land and animal management, controlled access, cost of establishment and availability of plant material. Beyond their role as fodder reserves hence improvement of animal performance, they play a major role in erosion control, landscaping, and landscape management.