Agroforesty and animals

dwheeler at dwheeler at
Mon Mar 10 12:01:33 EST 1997

In many places in the world, agroforestry is effectively used with native
animals. But I question the use of bringing other non-native animals into
the ecosystem. This can create long-term consequences, not all of which
are good.

Consider: In the Pacific Northwest (U.S.) temperate forests, at least 60
species of animals are known to consumer and thus distribute mycorrhizal
fungi, which are essential adjuncts to forest health. However, frequently
raised farm animals such as horses, cows, sheep and pigs are not native
to this area and are not known to distribute these fungi (pigs being the
exception). In addition, sheep, cows, and horses can cause serious
erosion of the soil. This erosion in turn stresses the plants upon which
they graze, which further stresses the mycorrhizal fungi associated with
these plants. This would seem to create an expanding cycle of stress.

Would anyone like to comment on this?

Daniel B. Wheeler

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