Silvopastoral systems benefit invertebrate biodiversity on tropical livestock farms in Caquetá, Colombia

Lois Kinneen*, Maria-Paula Escobar, Luis Miguel Hernandez, Jill Thompson, Yardany Ramos-Pastrana, Eric Cordoba-Suarez, Miguel Romero-Sanchez, AP Barnes, Marcela Quintero, Michael P.D. Garratt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


In the Colombian Amazon, there has been long-term and sustained loss of primary forest threatening biodiversity and climate change mitigation. Silvopastoral practices that integrate trees into livestock production could help address both local economic and wider environmental challenges.
We aimed to assess the effects of silvopastoral practices on invertebrate communities on smallholder farms in Caquetá, Colombia. Using sweep nets and malaise trapping, invertebrate communities were compared between traditional pasture, silvopasture and forest edge habitats.
Invertebrate communities collected using sweep nets were contrasting among habitat types, communities were significantly different between traditional pasture and forest edge habitats and diversity and evenness were greatest in forest edges compared to traditional pastures. It appears that silvopasture areas, by supporting similar invertebrate assemblages to both traditional pasture and forest edges, may be acting as an intermediate habitat.
When individual invertebrate orders were compared, Lepidoptera and Coleoptera were found in greater abundance in the forest edge habitats, while Hemiptera were more abundant in traditional pasture. Hemipterans are often pests of forage plants in pasture systems and these differences in abundance may have implications for ecosystem services and disservices.
Silvopastoral approaches cannot replace the unique biodiversity supported by native forests but could deliver benefits for invertebrate conservation and ecosystem services if integrated into landscapes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-134
Number of pages9
JournalAgricultural and Forest Entomology
Issue number1
Early online date10 Oct 2023
Publication statusPrint publication - Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Agricultural and Forest Entomology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Royal Entomological Society.


  • agroecology
  • malaise traps
  • silvopasture
  • sustainable agriculture
  • sweep netting
  • tropical ecology


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