African Journal of Range and Forage Science 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="" target="_blank">here</a>. </p> en-US Copyright for articles published in this journal is retained by the journal. (Publishing Manager) (Editorial Office) Mon, 29 Nov 2021 11:16:03 +0000 OJS 60 Vegetation classification for the management of large mammalian herbivores: a case study at Mushingashi Conservancy, Central Province, Zambia <p>The vegetation of Mushingashi Conservancy in central Zambia was classified and mapped to provide a template for wildlife management. Putative vegetation types were delineated using Landsat 8 imagery, then sampled with 73 plots for vegetation composition and structure, and topo-edaphic properties. Classification followed a four-stage<br>process. Valley dambo and floodplain grasslands were first separated as landscape units from wooded plots. Hierarchical cluster analysis was then used to identify 13 vegetation types based on woody composition and structure. Convex hull plots on a principal component analysis biplot successfully delineated the topo-edaphic environment and woody structure of each type. Linear discriminant analysis confirmed differences in topo-edaphic environment among types. The main environmental gradient was from vertic clays, supporting open Acacia woodland, to sandy soils, supporting miombo woodland, but other gradients were also important. Of a total of 193 woody species recorded, 25 occurred only on large termitaria. An influence of environmental gradients independent of plant-available moisture and nutrients is emphasised. Total woody cover decreased conspicuously on clay-rich soils with increased water availability. A functional vegetation classification of this nature is considered an essential first step towards the informed management of rangeland for large herbivores. Potential applications for management are discussed.</p> Bruce W. Clegg, Timothy G. O’Connor, Alan D. Manson Copyright (c) Sat, 27 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0000 The effects of <i>Acacia mearnsii</i> (black wattle) on soil chemistry and grass biomass production in a South African semi-arid rangeland: implications for rangeland rehabilitation <p>Globally, grasslands are under threat from woody encroachment by invasive alien plants and this undermines grass production. The study sought to determine the effects of<em> Acacia mearnsii</em> clearing on soil physico-chemical properties and grass production. Soil samples were collected from three <em>A. mearnsii</em> invasion statuses and analysed for representative physico-chemical variables. Using line transects and a disc pasture meter (DPM) approaches, equations were developed to predict annual grass dry matter production in areas cleared of <em>A. mearnsii</em>. <em>A. mearnsii</em> significantly (p &lt; 0.05) altered most of the physico-chemical soil characteristics that affected grass production. Predicted grass dry matter production from sites cleared of <em>A. mearnsii</em> ranged from 284 to 362 g m−2 y−1. These production rates were similar to those from uninvaded landscapes, suggesting that background grass production can still be attained even if there is no active soil management. Autogenic recovery thresholds have not been surpassed despite a long history of landscape invasion in the area. Management of invaded grasslands should be informed by an appreciation of local soil background characteristics. The equations developed for grass dry matter prediction may enable farmers to non-destructively estimate forage availability and fuel loads.</p> Onalenna Gwate, Sukhmani K. Mantel, Lesley A. Gibson, Zahn Munch, Bukho Gusha, Anthony R. Palmer Copyright (c) Sat, 27 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Shortwave infrared vegetation index-based modelling for aboveground vegetation biomass assessment in the arid steppes of Algeria <p>Selecting the appropriate vegetation index for accurate biomass estimation is a prerequisite before and during the ecosystem management project. This study, aims to compare Vegetation Indices (VIs) that are combining both Visible and Near Infrared OLI bands (VNIR-VIs), Visible and Short Wave Infrared OLI bands and also NIR and Short Wave Infrared OLI bands (SWIR-VIs) in order to accurately model the Aboveground Biomass (AGB) of three widely-located study sites over the arid steppe lands in Algeria. The Simple Linear Model (SLM) and Support Vector Machine (SVM) were utilised as statistical learning techniques on data; firstly, from each study site separately, and secondly, from all study sites (pooled data). In all study sites, SVM improves R² with a mean of 4.5% and decreases the Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE) and Percentage of Error (PE), respectively, with 15.50 (kg DM ha−1) and 1.33% on average. In all cases, the SWIR-VIs outperforms the VNIR-VIs with an improvement rate of 40% of R² and an average reduction of 362.36 kg DM ha−1 and 25% of RMSE and PE, respectively. The principal main improvement was found to involve the pooled data-based model utilising normalised difference VI form, which combines OLI2(0.452–0.512 μm) with OLI7(2.107–2.294 μm), (R² = 0.840, p &lt; 0.0005).</p> Louaï Benseghir, Nour El Islam Bachari Copyright (c) Sat, 27 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0000 The effects of tree canopies on invasive<i> Lantana camara</i>: a follow-up study 18 years later <p><em>Lantana camara</em> is primarily a bird-dispersed invasive plant species that has spread quickly across South Africa in disturbed areas. We re-examined the distribution of<em> Lantana</em> at Rodger and Twine’s (2002) study site (R&amp;T) in a highly grazed communal area and an adjacent conserved area in 2019. R&amp;T found that <em>Lantana</em> was more common in the communal area than in the conserved area. Glyphosate herbicide was sprayed to suppress <em>Lantana</em> from 2016 to 2019 in the conserved area only. We re-examined the bird-dispersal hypothesis by surveying subcanopy and intercanopy environments. We found more <em>Lantana</em> in the subcanopy than in the intercanopy. There were more <em>Lantana</em> plants in the conserved area, but there were virtually none in the communal area. Most concerning was the apparent resprouting of <em>Lantana</em> despite herbicide application. We used sequential aerial photographs and found that there has been an increase in woody cover in the conservation area since 2013, which may exacerbate the problem with this invasive plant. We conclude that it is not communal grazing per se that causes the encroachment of <em>Lantana,</em> and that it has more do with the woody cover of native plants, as concluded by R&amp;T.</p> Kiersten McMahon, David Ward Copyright (c) Sat, 27 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Book Review : Handbook of Citizen Science in Ecology and Conservation <p>No Abstract</p> Charlene Russell Copyright (c) Sat, 27 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0000