Vegetation Composition, Forage Biomass and Soil Seed Bank of a Continuously Grazed Rangeland Site in Tropical Sub-Humid Environment, Tanzania
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Keywords

Rangeland
vegetation cover
bush encroachment
communal grazing

How to Cite

Tito Eleutery Mdegela, Maleko, D. D., Msalya, G. M., & Mtengeti, E. J. (2022). Vegetation Composition, Forage Biomass and Soil Seed Bank of a Continuously Grazed Rangeland Site in Tropical Sub-Humid Environment, Tanzania. Journal of Basic & Applied Sciences, 18, 58–64. https://doi.org/10.29169/1927-5129.2022.18.07

Abstract

Most rangelands along the agro-pastoral villages of Tanzania are yearlong grazed and at various states of degradation. These rangelands contribute to over 60% of the meat and milk production in the country. An inventory was conducted to assess the status of grazing resources in a typical agro-pastoral village of Tanzania having communal rangelands. Systematic random sampling techniques were employed whereby line transects and quadrat frame were used following standard procedures to collect samples and undertake field measurements for both vegetation and soil parameters. The vegetation cover for desirable pasture species, undesirable pasture species and litter were 67.7%, 10.5% and 9.4%, respectively. The soil bare patches covered 12.3 % of the surveyed rangeland site. The most dominant grass species were Enteropogon macrostachyus, Bothriochloa insculpta and Heteropogon contortus. Forage dry matter (DM) yield was 806.8 kg DM/ha. Tree density was 1500 trees/ha and the total canopy cover was 63.49%. Combretum collinum was the most dominant tree species. Soil bulk density, pH, organic carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium were 1.4 g/cm3, 6.3%, 1.14%, 0.09%, 0.89 mg/kg and 0.33 g/kg, respectively. A total of 11 dicotyledonous species mainly forbs and 9 monocotyledonous species including two perennial grasses were revealed from the incubated soil samples. The findings of this study demonstrate that the communal grazing areas have low pasture productivity, poor soil seed-bank and high cover of woody plants mainly bushes. In order, to improve forage biomass at the study site and elsewhere with similar environments selective bush clearing and re-seeding should be considered.

https://doi.org/10.29169/1927-5129.2022.18.07
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