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Joubert, D., Zimmermann, I., Fendler, J., Winschiers-Theophilus, H., Graz, F.P., Smit, N. and Hoffman, M.T. 2014. The development of an expert system for arid rangeland management in central Namibia with emphasis on bush thickening. African Journal of Range and Forage Science, 31(2): 161–172


Description:

The development of an expert system for arid rangeland management in central Namibia with emphasis on bush thickening.

Summary / Notes:

An online decision support system derived from research and expert knowledge was developed for arid rangeland management in central Namibia. The expert system emphasises the control of bush thickening and is divided into three forms of decisions: adaptive, reactive and ongoing good management. Adaptive decisions are mostly related to periods of protracted high rainfall, as this is a critical window both in terms of a hazard (transition to bushy thickened state if no fire is applied) and opportunity (transition back to an open savanna if fire is applied). Currently, the expert system uses wiki technology, as this allows a high level of interaction between user and administrator. The expert system includes embedded links to photographs and additional information. It allows easy updating of the knowledge base. An additional booklet was also developed, since access to computers and the internet is still limited. Although the evaluation of the expert system will be determined partly by its acceptance by rangeland managers, we adhered to many of the critical success factors relating to decision support systems in its development. The paper discusses some key strategies for the success of this and similar decision support systems for improved rangeland management in the future. Keywords: Acacia mellifera, adaptive management, arboricides, rndecision support system.

Year: 2014

Type: Journal Article

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.2989/10220119.2014.899271#.VFipglItDcs


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