Integrating trees with understory crops is the basis of agroforestry systems, where production or sustainability can be enhanced by integrating overstory and understory crops. Management of these systems is more complex than conventional monoculture practices, but the economic and environmental benefits can offer advantages over traditional systems.  Cyclical timber harvesting in British Columbia forests is able to provide interim range values during the reforestation period as understory forage is released from tree canopy shade.  Opportunities for increasing forage production on forested range exist in the development of pine silvopastures in order to diversify commodities and simultaneously integrate forestry and grazing practices, with a potential added benefit of greater production on dry, unproductive sites.

Research supported byNatural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of CanadaBeef Cattle Industry Development Fund

Past student: Percy Folkard (MSc)

Overhead canopy shot at tree spacing trial in Falkland, BC