Mediterranean grasslands (including rangelands, pastures, meadows, fodder crops) are important resources covering up to 48% of the whole region. Although these ecosystems are a key element in the production of high quality animal products and in the livelihoods of producers, they provide a range of ecosystem services besides forage production, such as biodiversity conservation, habitat for wildlife, carbon fixation, prevention of erosion and nutrient storage. There are socio-economic and environmental differences among the different Mediterranean regions, but they share common issues on grasslands sustainability and research. Multidisciplinary investigations are needed to identify the best-adapted and most productive grassland species and mixtures along with the most appropriate grazing management to produce high-quality livestock products. Multidisciplinary research is also needed to monitor the pastoral resources, environmental outputs and ecological services associated with Mediterranean grasslands, to ensure a better understanding of their complexity and to inform management decisions and measures for climate change mitigation. More on-farm experimentation and participatory knowledge transfer to farmers are also required.
Via Doc IAMM