African Journal of Range and Forage Science https://www.ajol.info/index.php/ajrfs The African Journal of Range &amp; Forage Science is the leading rangeland and pastoral journal in Africa. The Journal is dedicated to publishing quality original material that advances rangeland ecology and pasture management in Africa. <br /><p><strong></strong>Read more abou the journal <a href="http://www.nisc.co.za/products/4/journals/african-journal-of-range-and-forage-science" target="_blank">here</a>. </p> en-US Copyright for articles published in this journal is retained by the journal. publishing@nisc.co.za (Publishing Manager) journals@nisc.co.za (Editorial Office) Mon, 22 Aug 2022 13:30:23 +0000 OJS 3.1.2.4 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss 60 Soil quality index for extensive pastures in hilly landforms region of highly weathered soils in an Atlantic forest biome, Brazil https://www.ajol.info/index.php/ajrfs/article/view/230188 <p><strong>Extensive pasture systems established in highly weathered tropical soils on steep slopes are vulnerable to soil degradation. Soil degradation can be monitored using an soil quality index (SQI). The SQI can assess both environmental aspects and indices related to pasture productivity within specific environments. A framework to evaluate and map a soil quality index for Ferralsols was developed in this study, emphasising pasture quality and seasonal variations, as well as geologic–geomorphological influences. Ground cover was determined in pasture areas with different levels of degradation. A minimum data set associated with pasture quality and productivity was selected by partial least squares regression to generate the SQI. The SQI is controlled by geomorphology and geology. In highlands, Ferralsols that develop in the oldest surfaces show strong leaching of basic cations and have higher acidity and, although components of organic matter increase, they are less important to pasture quality. In lowlands, landscape dissection exposes less weathered saprolite, forming Ferralsols with good chemical properties. This favours sustainability in pasture systems and reduces soil degradation in vulnerable environments. Soil quality indices were able to better evaluate pasture quality when established in summer.</strong></p> <p><strong>Keywords: </strong>multivariate analysis; pasture management; soil degradation; soil fertility; soil organic matter; soil variability</p> DL Burak, E de C Monteiro, RR Passos, E de Sá Mendonça Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/ajrfs/article/view/230188 Mon, 22 Aug 2022 00:00:00 +0000 Characteristics of herbaceous vegetation on abandoned fallow fields in south central Zimbabwe https://www.ajol.info/index.php/ajrfs/article/view/230189 <p><strong>Fields abandoned to fallow, due to biophysical and socio-economic factors in communal areas of Zimbabwe, are used for livestock grazing. A study was conducted to characterise vegetation from such fields, and assess its grazing suitability across four agroecological regions (AER II – AER V) characterised by annual rainfall ranging from 750 mm to 400 mm, and five categories of fallow age groups (0-5; 6-10; 11-20, &gt; 20 years and normal rangeland). Most fallow fields did not mature into woodlands but remained grasslands with or without sparse shrubs regardless of the period of fallowing and AER because of high stocking rates. There were no variations in palatability, ecological value, diversity, biomass and grazing capacity across fallow age groups. However, significant differences were observed across AERs. The quality of vegetation from fallows in AER II and III was poor but good in AER IV and V. The quantity of vegetation from fallows in AER II was higher than from other AERs. However, all fallow fields from the four AERs had low grazing capacity than expected from literature. We conclude that using fallow fields for uncontrolled grazing is unsustainable. There is need to investigate better management strategies for livestock production in fallow fields.</strong></p> <p><strong>Keywords</strong>: agroecological region; fallow age; grazing suitability; uncontrolled grazing</p> Linda Mtali-Chafadza, Prisca H Mugabe, Emmanuel Manzungu Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/ajrfs/article/view/230189 Mon, 22 Aug 2022 00:00:00 +0000 Occurrence of <i>Dalbergia obovata</i> in grasslands of urban nature reserves within a metropolitan municipality: is it an encroaching woody species? https://www.ajol.info/index.php/ajrfs/article/view/230190 <p><strong>The occurrence of </strong><strong><em>Dalbergia obovata</em></strong><strong>, which is typically associated with forests, in grasslands within conservation areas in a metropolitan municipality was investigated to assess whether it was encroaching and what the possible causes might be. Relevant legislation has not regarded </strong><strong><em>D. obovata </em></strong><strong>as an encroacher species in grasslands. The abundance and distribution patterns of </strong><strong><em>D. obovata </em></strong><strong>in four conservation areas were mapped in the field and captured as GIS layers to facilitate calculation of the proportion of each grassland area deemed to have been encroached over two decades. Management records for 17 conservation areas were analysed to determine whether there were associations between different management practices and </strong><strong><em>D. obovata </em></strong><strong>encroachment. We found that more than one third of grasslands present in 1999 were lost to encroachment by </strong><strong><em>D. obovata </em></strong><strong>and that some grassland areas were almost completely (99%) encroached. Results of a Chi-squared test and principal components analysis of management records indicated that the absence of large herbivores was significantly associated with </strong><strong><em>D. obovate </em></strong><strong>encroachment into grasslands. We conclude that </strong><strong><em>D. obovata </em></strong><strong>should be listed as a woody encroacher species and that some conventional management practises applied to control woody encroachers, such as the use of fire, are ineffective against </strong><strong><em>D. obovata.</em></strong></p> <p><strong>Keywords: </strong>fire; herbivory; savanna; tropical grassy biomes; woody encroachment</p> Terry Stewart, Peter F Scogings, Himansu Baijnath Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/ajrfs/article/view/230190 Mon, 22 Aug 2022 00:00:00 +0000 Influence of burning and defoliation on <i>Festuca costata</i> (Nees) in the Drakensberg https://www.ajol.info/index.php/ajrfs/article/view/230191 <p><strong>Fire occurs naturally in grasslands and savannas and it is commonly used as a management tool to influence structure and composition. The ability of a grass plant to recover from fire may be influenced by the fire frequency and intensity (influenced by seasonal weather conditions and fuel load), defoliation and competition from neighbouring plants. This study sought to investigate factors influencing the fire and herbivore dynamics of an evergreen C</strong><strong>3 </strong><strong>grass, </strong><strong><em>Festuca costata, </em></strong><strong>in a high-altitude C</strong><strong>4 </strong><strong>dominated grassland in the Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa. We experimentally examined the effect of fire frequency, defoliation and competition from neighbours on the growth dynamics of </strong><strong><em>F. costata. </em></strong><strong>Annual burning significantly decreased aboveground biomass production, number of tillers and tuft circumference of </strong><strong><em>F. costata</em></strong><strong>. Defoliation similarly reduced aboveground biomass production, number of tillers, tuft circumference and specific leaf area of </strong><strong><em>F. costata. </em></strong><strong>Competition from neighbouring plants reduced aboveground biomass production, number of tillers and tuft circumference of </strong><strong><em>F. costata. </em></strong><strong>Given the expected variable impacts of increasing CO</strong><strong>2 </strong><strong>levels and temperature on C</strong><strong>3 </strong><strong>and C</strong><strong>4 </strong><strong>grasses, these results provide insights for managing the matrix of C</strong><strong>3 </strong><strong>and C</strong><strong>4 </strong><strong>grasses in the Drakensberg grasslands in a changing climate.</strong></p> <p><strong>Keywords: </strong>biodiversity; climate change; herbivory</p> Kabemba Mwambilwa, Kevin P Kirkman, Zivanai Tsvuura Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/ajrfs/article/view/230191 Mon, 22 Aug 2022 00:00:00 +0000 Cattle performance with <i>Brachiaria</i> and <i>Panicum maximum</i> forages in an integrated crop-livestock system https://www.ajol.info/index.php/ajrfs/article/view/230192 <p><strong>Crop-livestock integration is an efficient technique that enables cropping and animal production in the same area, takes advantage of all the benefits that this synergism provides, and results in greater sustainability and lower environmental impact. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the production, forage quality, and cattle performance with forages of the genus </strong><strong><em>Brachiaria </em></strong><strong>and </strong><strong><em>Panicum maximum </em></strong><strong>after intercropping with soybean in an integrated crop-livestock system and to assess the relationship between mulch biomass and soybean yield. The experimental design was completely randomised and consisted of a 4 × 5 factorial arrangement with four replicates. The treatments consisted of four forages, namely, Xaraes palisadegrass (</strong><strong><em>Brachiaria brizantha </em></strong><strong>cv. Xaraés), Congo grass (</strong><strong><em>Brachiaria ruziziensis</em></strong><strong>), Mombaça guinea grass (</strong><strong><em>Panicum maximum </em></strong><strong>cv. Mombaça), and Tamani guinea grass (</strong><strong><em>Panicum maximum </em></strong><strong>cv. BRS Tamani), intercropped with oversown soybean, and these treatments were evaluated over five grazing cycles. The results showed that Mombaça guinea grass and Xaraes palisadegrass were associated with higher forage production, but the highest forage quality was obtained with Tamani guinea grass. Mombaça guinea grass, Xaraes palisadegrass, and Tamani guinea grass resulted in the best pasture performance of animals under grazing in the off-season and thus generated more benefits in terms of the soybean yield. Congo grass was associated with reduced production, lower forage quality and decreased animal production during the grazing cycles. The pasture establishment through soybean over sowing proved to be an efficient technique that reduced the environmental impact of livestock, because of the greater use of soil nutrients and resulted in greater sustainability.</strong></p> <p><strong>Keywords: </strong>animal weight gain; integrated system; nutritional value; oversown; sustainability</p> Mariana Borges de Castro Dias, Mariana Borges de Castro Dias, Kátia Aparecida de Pinho Costa, Eduardo da Costa Severiano, Ubirajara Oliveira Bilego, Lourival Vilela, Wender Ferreira de Souza, Itamar Pereira de Oliveira, Ana Carolina Gomes da Silva Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/ajrfs/article/view/230192 Mon, 22 Aug 2022 00:00:00 +0000 Nourishment – What animals can teach us about rediscovering our nutritional wisdom https://www.ajol.info/index.php/ajrfs/article/view/230193 <p>No abstract.</p> Nikki Brighton Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/ajrfs/article/view/230193 Mon, 22 Aug 2022 00:00:00 +0000 The Uncommon Knowledge of Elinor Ostrom: Essential Lessons for Collective Action https://www.ajol.info/index.php/ajrfs/article/view/230194 <p>No abstract.</p> James Bennett Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/ajrfs/article/view/230194 Mon, 22 Aug 2022 00:00:00 +0000