African Journal of Range and Forage Science

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The effect of prolonged heavy grazing pressure on the regrowth of two perennial grass species in a semi-arid communal rangeland

W Twine, V Gray, N Owen-Smith


We tested the hypothesis that initial above-ground regrowth of defoliated grass tufts would be reduced in sites which have been exposed to prolonged heavy grazing. The regrowth of Themeda triandra and Urochloa mosambicensis tufts was compared between three heavily grazed sites close to a village and three relatively lightly grazed sites far from a village, in a semi-arid communal rangeland in the South African lowveld. A clipping experiment was done in the field using T. triandra and U. mosambicensis tufts. Regrowth was lower (P<≤>0.01) in the heavy grazing sites for both species. This was more a function of tiller production rate, in terms of numbers of tillers, than of tiller extension rate. Rate of regrowth was not strongly affected by tuft size.

Keywords: clipping experiment; savanna; stocking rate; Themeda triandra; Urochloa mosambicensis

African Journal of Range & Forage Science 2002, 19(2): 129-130
AJOL African Journals Online