Influence of livestock systems with live fences of Gliricidia sepium on several soil properties in Tabasco, Mexico
G. Villanueva-López, P. Martínez-Zurimendi, L. Ramírez-Avilés, F. Casanova-Lugo, and A. Jarquín-Sánchez. 2014. Influence of livestock systems with live fences of Gliricidia sepium on several soil properties in Tabasco, Mexico. Cien Inv. Agr. 41(2): 175-186. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the effects of two livestock systems, a livestock system with live fences (LSLF) of Gliricidia sepium associated with signal grass (Brachiaria decumbens) and a livestock system based on a grass monoculture (LSPM), on specific physical and chemical soil characteristics at different depths and distances from the fence. In each system, we randomly selected 9 plots of 600 m². A completely randomized design was used with a 2 x 3 factorial arrangement in which we analyzed the influence of the livestock systems (LSLF and LSPM), soil strata (0-10, 10-20 and 2030 cm) and the interaction of both factors using a multivariate analysis of variance. In addition, we performed analysis of variance to determine the effect of distance sampling in the LSLF (0-3, 3-6 and 6-9 m). The LSLFs were associated with higher (P≤0.05) soil organic matter (OM), carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) content as well as lower pH and bulk density (BD) when compared with the LSPM. In both livestock systems, the soil OM, C and N were higher (P≤0.05) in the upper (0-10 cm) strata and in the LSLF at a 3 to 6 m distance from the live fences. In the LSLF soil, the pH and BD were similar (P>0.05) at different depths and distances from the live fences. However, the soil pH varied between soil depths in the LSPM. Regarding the physical soil properties, only the sand and clay content varied (P≤0.05) at different depths in both systems but not at different distances from the LSLF. We concluded that the LSLF presents high potential to substantially improve the physical and chemical soil properties and provide an important option for reducing soil degradation in future in livestock production systems based on pasture monoculture.