Quinta-Feira, 18 de Julho de 2024
Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária
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The Pantanal (Brazilian wet lands) biome is located at the High Paraguai River basin, in the center/west region of Brazil. It is the largest wetlands in the world with an estimated area of 240,000 square kilometers (60% in Brazil). The Pantanal plain is located at 80 to 150 m above sea level and declivity is almost null, its soils have low permeability and there is only one spillway, the Paraguai River. These characteristics cause the Pantanal to become a huge flooded area, every year after some months of rain. 

The Pantanal is one of the most important areas of beef cattle raising in Brazil. In the extensive beef cattle husbandry in the Pantanal animals are raised almost exclusively on native grass. Pastures are large enough to allow selective grazing and access to water and farm inputs are almost null.

The region's peculiarities, well defined alternated dry and flooding seasons, poor soils and difficulty of access, among others, restricted occupation and human interference. Traditional management carried on for more than 200 years by "pantaneiro" ranchers has contributed for environmental conservation: the region has approximately 85% of its native vegetation intact. Neither the native nor the cultivated pastures in Pantanal receive fertilization. Maintenance of satisfactory levels of productivity depends on nutrients naturally liberated in the soil by decomposition and mineralization of organic matter.

Although inventories of GHG emissions generally consider cattle as important sources of methane, there are no studies on cattle raised in the Pantanal. In the Pantanal there are many vegetation maps and landscape units which vary in time and space. This dynamics allows the development of different types of native pastures, which vary in quality and quantity.

The objective of this project is to estimate GHG emissions and the carbon balance in the extensive beef cattle husbandry in the Pantanal, indicating the mitigation potential of management practices.

Production systems under evaluation: extensive beef cattle production.