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African Journal of Range and Forage Science

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The effect of seasonal grazing on the infiltration capacity of soils in a Cymbopogon-Themeda veld.

Van Den Berg J.A., Roberts B.R., Vorster L.F.

Abstract


The long term effects of grazing during fixed seasons and combinations of the seasons, on the infiltration capacity of soils in a Cymbopogon-Themeda veld in the Central O.F.S., were investigated. Two field experiments were grazed by Merino sheep and Afrikaner cattle respectively. Each experiment was a 2 4 factorial layout with grazing and resting as treatments. All possible combinations of spring, summer, autumn and winter served as the 16 treatments. The infiltration measurements were determined by means of a flood type concentric ring infiltrometer. The results showed that grazing during any one of the seasons reduced the infiltration capacity of the soils. The detrimental effects of summer and autumn grazing were, however, larger titan those of winter and spring grazing. Highly significant positive correlations between infiltration capacity and veld condition, as measured in terms of the basal cover of climax grasses, were obtained.

Keywords: afrikaans; basal cover; botany; equipment; grasses; grazing; infiltration capacity; infiltrometer; measurements; merino sheep; soils; south africa; treatments; veld condition




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