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Research, Policy and Practice

Table 3 Main types of current tree-crop-livestock associations in complex systems of Italy

From: Agro-silvo-pastoral systems in Italy: integration and diversification

Type of association Examples
Mixed home gardens Hobby farms, retired people. Fruit trees associated with vegetable crops. Small animals can be present (usually geese and hens).
Fruit tree plantations with cover crops Flat or hills on low slopes. Small-scale farms and commercial farms, cover crops for green mulching or winter grazing with sheep, common also in vineyards and olive groves.
Timber plantations with pasture Flat areas. Commercial plantations with colonisation of resident species (native cover crops), grazed by cattle or sheep.
Grazed forest Mostly in hills. Thinned out forests, sown firebreaks. Grazed with native cattle breeds.
Park forests Flat areas in very developed areas. Frequently pine forests. Parks nearby towns with occasional animal grazing from nearby farms.
Windbreaks and green hedges Flat areas with extensive agriculture. Around fertile and large cropped fields.
Scattered trees in pastures and cropped fields Marginal areas, hills, small flat areas. Few trees left in opened areas mainly for shade, sometimes green leaves for browsers.
Chestnut orchards Hills and low mountain areas. Grazed by sheep or cattle in summer or winter, after chestnut harvesting.
Specialised plantations of forage shrubs (alley cropping) Few farms in marginal areas. Forage trees planted in rows with pasture, grazed by native cattle or sheep. Species that produce also fruits. Mostly used Morus alba in central Italy, examples of Opuntia ficus-indica in the south.