African Journal of Range and Forage Science

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Pros and cons of eliminating veld burning

Scott JD


Fire has been a factor of the environment in Africa since time immemorial and it is often caused by natural agencies such as lightning. It is maintained that there is much prejudice against veld burning, often ill-founded. Fire has caused and maintained most of the world's grassland. When fire has been prevented plant succession has resulted in bush encroachment in the savanna and surrounding areas or in fynbos encroachment in others. Fire results in much old grass being wasted but, if this is not removed in some manner, the grazing deteriorates. Old grass can be removed by fire, mowing or grazing, using high protein supplements. The consequences of the different methods of removal, other than mowing, may be equally deleterious.

Keywords: plants|grasslands|defoliations|fires|Savanna Biome|burning regimes|plant succession|pastures|veld|environmental factors|lightning|bush encroachments|fynbos|controlled burnings|grazing|old growth|grasses|mowing|protein supplementations|removal experiments|methods

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