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African Journal of Range and Forage Science

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A revised method for assessing veld condition.

Tainton N.M., Edwards P.J., Mentis M.T.

Abstract


The modified quantitative climax method previously developed for assessing veld condition in the humid grasslands of Natal has been refined and expanded as data derived from its use have accumulated. As previously, basal cover and species composition are determined on a 30 x 30 m plot from 200 points observed using the wheel-point apparatus. Plants are grouped into ecological classes which are defined on the basis of how the plants respond to grazing and burning. These and additional, subjectively assessed parameters of the veld being evaluated, are compared to those of the benchmark - a site chosen to represent the agro-ecological ideal for the area. These data are then used to estimate the current grazing capacity. The method has been adapted to bushveld sites, where an assessment of the tree components of the community is also required, and there appears to be no valid reason why it should not be suited to the arid grassland and karroo regions as well.

Keywords: basal cover; burning; composition; cover; current grazing capacity; ecological classes; grasslands; grazing capacity; humid grasslands; karoo; method; natal; south africa; species composition; veld condition; wheel-point apparatus




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