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Applied and Environmental Soil Science
Volume 2014, Article ID 359736, 8 pages
Research Article

Silvopastoral Systems Enhance Soil Quality in Grasslands of Colombia

1CORPOICA Turipaná, Km. 13 vía Montería-Cereté, Córdoba, Colombia
2Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Calle 59 No. 63-20, 050034 Medellín, Colombia

Received 31 July 2013; Revised 16 November 2013; Accepted 1 December 2013; Published 22 January 2014

Academic Editor: Robert L. Bradley

Copyright © 2014 Judith Martínez et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In the tropical drylands of Colombia, the soils subjected to traditional systems of livestock production are severely degraded and depleted of plant nutrients. Multistrata silvopastoral systems are viable alternatives to improve livestock production; however, it is unknown whether these systems can reduce the negative environmental impacts of traditional systems on soil quality. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of 13-year-old multistrata silvopastoral systems on soil quality parameters in degraded soils of the Sinu River Valley, Colombia. The results show that the trees in the silvopastoral systems increased or maintained soil pH values and nutrient availability (phosphorus, potassium, and calcium) with respect to the pastures with only grasses. The effects were significantly controlled by the types of plant species, particularly Guazuma ulmifolia and Cassia grandis.