Spanish Journal of Rural Development

The Spanish Journal of Rural Development (SJRD) is a quarterly scientific journal published by the Galician Association of Researchers for Rural Development Asociación Gallega de Investigadores para el Desarrollo Rural (AGAIDERU).

Span. j. rural dev. is a multidisciplinary journal which publishes original research articles of practical application in the fields of forestry, agronomy, the environment, rural planning, international cooperation and socioeconomic issues. The overall focus is on the sustainable rural development of local populations, within identified Priority Lines

The journal also applies a policy of exchange with various scientific journals, at both national and international levels, and it is indexed in important scientific databases.


  • Prologue

    Bernard Amiaud

    Biodiversity has become a central concept in agro-ecological research since the Rio de Janeiro summit in 1992. This event indicated a world consciousness of the importance of biodiversity protection for sustainable development. Agricultural areas include a unique biological diversity which is the basis of human activities. Conservation of this biodiversity in agricultural and protected areas is therefore fundamental and requires an operational approach. Biodiversity is a complex entity which can be spread over several levels (genes, species, ecosystems and ecological processes) and can be related to three main functions: i) patrimonial functions, ii) agronomical functions and iii) ecological functions. The patrimonial function concerns conservation of aesthetic of landscape and threatened species. Biodiversity function according to relationships with agricultural activities describes the biotic and abiotic stress resistance, and the production of cultivated ecosystems. Favouring agronomical services is a way to decrease chemical fertilisers and thus to increase the independence and sustainability of agricultural production. Biodiversity is also involved in ecological functioning by the existence of typical habitats with particular species.

    Considering the role of agriculture in the preservation of biodiversity appears to be key issues in the context of the 21st century “produce properly for environment”. For better biodiversity conservation at large scale of territories, knowledge and creation of conservation tools are necessary not only in protected and restricted areas but also in agricultural areas. In addition, mosaic landscape based on a melting of agricultural and semi-natural areas represent a particular reserve of biodiversity. Moreover, biodiversity preservation in agricultural lands produces new challenges: to conciliate production necessities with respect for the environment. Rural areas are very well placed to explore these challenges but are also good places for the economic evaluation of the biodiversity functions. Economic evaluation of biodiversity is a growing interest in the scientific community but often creates questions about the value of a particular natural habitat, a particular service such as landscape maintenance.

    Spanish Journal of Rural Development has all the qualities required for being a scientific exchanges journal with an international scope. Due to the priorities given by the editorial board to the multidisciplinary approach of rural development, makes this journal a suitable place to address these new issues. Assuredly, this new journal is a boon for the scientific community of agronomists and ecologists and wishes it a great future in the category “Agricultural Engineering” of the Journal Citation Report.

  • Boundary conditions in the determination of the permanent wilting point with water activity meters

    Martínez, E.M., Cancela, J.J.

    The evaluation of soil water content in the vadose zone, through the determination of the water limits is possible with a newly developed methodology: water activity meters. Its principle of operation, based on the Kelvin equation provides a dependency on two factors, temperature and relative humidity. This research quantifies the effect of both in determining the permanent wilting point in soils of Galicia. We have analyzed 26 sites with a model WP4 activity meter. In 16 samples were quantified an increase in temperature, according to the percentage of moisture, 0.92% (5%) 1.28% (10%), 1.79% (15%) and 1.76% (20 %), with an average of 1.44%. In the remaining 10 samples is a decrease in relative humidity of the samples throughout the protocol with respect to the initial values of 42.84% (5%) 47.83% (10%) 50.65% (15%) and 53.42% (20%), with an average decrease in the process of 48.68%. Extrapolated the permanent wilting point, is related to the amplitude of the variation in temperature and relative humidity for each sample. The average variation was 0.315 cm3cm-3 ºC-1 and 0.003 cm3cm-3 in the wilting point for each unit change in the relative humidity. Highlighting the near relationship between the temperature-humidity and the time required, recommended a larger survey of the boundary conditions, questioning the use of such equipment in field conditions.

  • Conservation of germplasm of woody species with in vitro culture techniques and cold storage.

    Corredoira, E., Valladares, S., Martínez, T., Couselo, J.L., San José, M.C., Ballester, A., Vázquez- Janeiro, L.

    Maintenance of plant tissue in vitro is an essential procedure for the conservation and exchange of genetic resources. In vitro culture is defined as a process in which plant cells, tissues or organs grown in aseptic conditions and a controlled environment. Provides the ability to store a large number of samples in a small space as well as allowing the conservation those species with low seed viability, cultures for clonal mass propagation, highly heterozygous crops or cultures that need to be propagated vegetatively to preserve their genetic integrity. Established in vitro cultures can be kept short term (from 1 week to two months) and medium term by manipulating the growth conditions. The long-term in vitro culture conditions can be achieved using liquid nitrogen storage or cryopreservation. The aim of this study was to describe the main techniques for in vitro conservation of germplasm of a number of woody species in the short and medium term. These techniques have enabled the Department of Plant Physiology Institute of Agrobiological Research of Galicia (IIAG) establishing a germplasm bank of woody species.

  • The landscape as biodiversity indicator.

    López, F.J.

    Landscape is closely connected with biodiversity. It is logical to think that the territorial distribution or the content of the natural systems and of the handled ones for the agriculture, the ranching and the forestry, that is to say, of the elements definers of the landscape, are a important key to the conservation and dispersion of the animal and vegetable species and the maintenance of the flows and of the rest of the functions of the ecosystems. In recent years, rural landscape suffered important changes motivated by the specialization and the modernization and growth of the developments, which led to a clear loss of his diversity, so much in the one that refers to the agrarian morphology as to the systems of culture and to the own rural habitat. As consequence, the biodiversity also is being affected, then the threats to the landscape also have an effect on the biological and ecological diversity, because of the relation between both concepts before commented. In Galicia, where the heterogeneity of its landscape is principally determined by the human activity, to support the biodiversity there would be necessary to go to new patterns of operation, far from the monotonous agrarian modern landscapes.

  • The consumer responses to the perceived quality: a proposal for quality agro-food products.

    Fandos, C., Flavián, C.

    How should measure the quality perceived by consumers for agro-food products? The multi-attribute approach proposes the decomposition of the perceived quality of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. The first refers to the attributes perceived by the senses: colour, smell, taste, texture, shape, freshness, appearance, etc. And the latter are image attributes: price, place of origin, brand, packaging, warranty, reputation, etc. Both groups of factors may influence differently on consumer behaviour regarding their evaluation and experience with food products. This article presents a theoretical model to measure the influence of intrinsic and extrinsic attributes on the main variables of consumer behaviour. Moreover, proposed the inclusion of the degree of expertise or familiarity and degree of involvement as moderator variables. This new model provides a valuable framework of study in this rural sector so managers could develop effective competitive strategies tailored to different consumer preferences.

  • Effect of zinc methionine supplementation on productive performance of lactating friesian cows

    Gaafar, H.M.A., Bassiouni, M.I., Alí, M.F.E., Shitta, A.A., Shamas, A.Sh. E.

    Twelve lactating Friesian cows with body weight of 450 to 550 kg and at 2nd to 5th lactating season were used after 8 weeks of calving in a complete switch–back design. The cows were fed the basal ration consisted of 35% concentrate feed mixture + 40% berseem + 25% rice straw (on DM basis) without supplementation (G1) or supplemented with 5 g zinc methionine per head per day for G2 and 10 g zinc methionine per head per day for G3. Nutrients digestibility coefficients and nutritive values were increased significantly (P<0.05) by zinc methionine supplementation. Cows in G2 had the highest feed intake of total digestible nutrients (TDN) and digestible crude protein (DCP) followed by G3, with lowest feed intake in G1 (P<0.05). Ruminal total volatile fatty acids (TVFA's) concentration increased and ammonia nitrogen (NH3-N) decreased significantly (P<0.05) by zinc methionine supplementation. Cows in G3 showed the highest plasma total protein, albumin and globulin concentrations (P<0.05). Zinc methionine supplementation led to significant decrease (P<0.05) in the activity of AST and ALT. Significant increase (P<0.05) was observed in the yield of milk for G2 (2.54 kg/day or 18.1%) and G3 (1.95 kg/day or 14.2%), compared with the control group. The corresponding increase of 4% FCM was 2.85 and 2.03 kg/day or 21.63 and 15.74% for G2 and G3, respectively. Cows in G2 had the highest fat, total protein and TS contents and the yield of all milk constituents and animals in G3 showed the highest contents of lactose, SNF and ash. Zinc methionine supplementation improved feed conversion, leding to reduce the quantities of DM, TDN and DCP required to produce one kg of 4% FCM (P<0.05). Average daily feed cost per kg of 4% FCM decreased and average income from milk production increased with zinc methionine supplementation (P<0.05). From quadratic analysis, it is showed that the optimal level of zinc methionine supplementation is at a level of 6 g per head per day in terms of milk yield and net revenue.

  • Early biometrical performances of northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.) in the south-east of Transylvania (Romania): a case-study

    Sandi, M., Nicolescu, V.N.

    Northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.) is a North American forest species cultivated in Europe since 1691 and found nowadays all over the Europe except from the Scandinavian countries. In Romania it is cultivated since the beginning of the 20-th century. At present pure and mixed northern red oak plantations cover over 2,500 ha and the majority of them are located between the pedunculate oak zone and the lower limit of European beech zone (up to about 700 m asl elevation), where it performs reasonably well on both fertile and deep soils as well as heavy clays. The paper deals with the biometrical performances of a northern red oak-dominated plantation established back in 1997 and located at a mean elevation of 780 m asl. At 10 years of age, northern red oak, even grown only under medium favourable ecological conditions (quite harsh climate and heavy soil), performs well, with an average height increment of 0.67-0.80 m/yr, an average diameter increment of 0.50-0.63 cm/yr and a mean volume increment of 4.75-6.14 cu.m/ha/yr. In the last three years (2008-2010), the individual northern red oak trees within the experimental plots have also performed well, with a mean diameter increment of 0.50-0.57 cm/yr. This value is higher (on average 0.81 cm/yr, with a variation between 0.53 cm/yr and 1.20 cm/yr) in case of the 100 potential final crop trees of northern red oak selected back in 2008.

  • Influence of different irrigated crop rotations in selected soil chemicals properties.

    Nunes, J.M., López-Piñeiro, A., Coelho, J.P., Liso, A.A., Cabrera, D., Peña, D.

    In order to determine the effect of different irrigated crop rotation (1. corn, 2. intensive olive grove (300-400 trees / ha), 3. Corn -barley / oat / wheat (1 or 2 years) sugar beet and 4. Tomato -barley / oat / wheat (1 or 2 years) -Beet) on the organic matter content, pH, electrical conductivity and soil sodicity, we collect and georeferenced 6280 samples from the surface layer of soils (0-20 cm) in the Caia Irrigation Perimeter (located in Elvas and Campo Maior Counties, Portalegre District, Portugal) occupied with those rotations. These samples were mixed in groups of 10, resulting 1 sample, corresponding to an area of 11.1 ha, the one was sent to the laboratory where we proceeded to examine the above parameters. With the use of appropriate software (Geographic Information Systems -GIS), it was possible to correlate these individual soil samples with crop rotations and with the group of soil present (Fluvisols, Luvisols and Calcisols). We found that the use of the abovementioned crop rotations, over about two decades, led to significant differences in soil characteristics, although not always significant from a statistical point of view. The crop rotations using larger water and fertilizers amounts in irrigated crop systems are the ones causing a more evident decrease in soil organic matter and pH and, at the same time, leading to an increase in soil electrical conductivity and exchangeable sodium content.

  • Proposal of Public Use Plan for the Natural Park “Fragas do Eume” (A Coruña)

    Fernández, A.

    As a result of pressure exerted by humans on the environment during all these years of industrial development and other, early twentieth century, beginning to create forms of protection to try to mitigate the negative human action in that environment. Then, the conservation of certain natural areas has been included in the legislation. The following work describes the natural area known as “Fragas do Eume” (A Coruña), a Natural Park which is home to a type of very small Atlantic Forest, known as European deciduous Atlantic forest, remnant of a bygone era, who survived Galicia, with its climatic, geological and geographical characteristics exclusive. Throughout the article was to report in summary: the study area, its biotic, threats that concern them, and the reference to public use.