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African Journal of Range and Forage Science

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Rates of wood and dung disintegration in arid South African rangelands

SJ Milton, WRJ Dean

Abstract


Dead shrubs lying on the soil surface in an arid shrubland in the southern Karoo have half-lives of 9 to 18 years depending on wood density which varies among species. Dung pellets of sheep and springbok can remain intact on the soil surface in Karoo shrubland and desert grassland for five years or more. Highlights the results of a study conducted on information on ecosystem processes and their response to land use and climate in arid southern Africa. Illustrates with tables and graphs.

Keywords: Aggeneys; Augea; Dead shrubs; Decay rates; Demography; Deserts; Disintegration; Drosanthemum; Dung beetles; Dung pellets; Ecosystems; Galenia; Global standards; Karoo; Litter; Pteronia; Sheep; Shrub breakdown; Soil surface; Springbok; Woody shrubs; wood; dung; arid; rangelands; decomposition; augea capensis; drosanthemum montaguense; galenia fruticosa; pteronia pallens; desert; south africa; shrubs

African Journal of Range & Forage Science, Vol. 13, Iss 3, p.89-93



http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10220119.1996.9647904
AJOL African Journals Online