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Pastos y Forrajes

versión impresa ISSN 0864-0394


PARDINI, A. A perspective on the valorization of agro-silvo-pastoral systems in the Mediterranean Basin. Pastos y Forrajes [online]. 2007, vol.30, n.1, pp.1-1. ISSN 0864-0394.

Although the Mediterranean Basin is the largest area with Mediterranean climate, at least other 5 areas of the world share the same patterns of rainfall and temperatures in America, Africa and Australia. Because of the common pattern of climate, many crops and management options adopted in the Mediterranean Basin become important also in regions of the other continents. On the contrary, the long history of civilization is a peculiarity of the Mediterranean Basin, where the slow changes caused to the native vegetation have led to integration of human activities without disruption of this vegetation. The gradual changes have conserved large biological diversity and actually introduced exotic plants that are now well integrated in the local vegetation. Moreover, the gradual understanding of the native nature has developed an approach of integration of people into the natural environment and it is now part of a cultural heritage in the area. The Mediterranean Basin remains a very important region for endemisms, number of plant species, number of native crops and native livestock breeds. As a consequence, diversity is probably the most appropriate word to describe the rural Mediterranean world. Traditional systems like nomadism and transhumance survive beside farm systems based on the most advanced technologies, there are cases of modernization of traditional activities and other cases of modern agriculture that conserves traditions. Some case studies referred to countries of the northern, southern, western and eastern shore of the Mediterranean sea are given to exemplify the variability of pastoral or agricultural systems, as well as complex and integrated agro-silvo-pastoral systems. The enhanced diversity of some Mediterranean agro-silvo-pastoral systems needs complex management that, especially in marginal areas, cannot be economically competitive with intensive agriculture and animal rearing. However diversity brings also more ecological sustainability in comparison to simple intensive systems and it is useful to conserve the natural environment. Finally, nowadays diversity can become richness if the link of traditional rural world with the modern sectors of economy is started in some of the southern and eastern countries and further developed in the European Mediterranean area. Under this point of view, the passage from simple conventional systems to more complex systems that integrate pasture, cropped fields and forest is suggested to develop the integration of the rural people within the global development.

Palabras clave : Agro-silvo-pastoral systems.

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