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Ward, D. and Ngairorue, B.T. 2000. Are Namibia's grasslands desertifying?. Journal of Range Management, 53: 138-144


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Are Namibia's grasslands desertifying?.

Summary / Notes:

We compared the herbage standing crop on 31 farms along arnrainfall gradient in Namibia (southwestern Africa) in 1997 withrnthe results attained for the same gradient by Walter (1939). Wernfound that the slope for the regression of herbage yield on meanrnannual rainfall in 1997 was 5.93, i.e. 5.93 kg herbage was produced per hectare for every 1 mm increase in rainfall along therngradient. This regression slope is considerably lower than that inrnWalter’s (1939) study (slope = 10.34). Thus, current grasslandrnproductivity per unit of rainfall in Namibia is about half that ofrn50 years ago. There is no evidence of a change in annual rainfallrnover this period, nor is there any evidence that either short-termrn(current) or longer-term (11 years) stocking densities affect current herbage yield. We conclude that, while desertification hasrntaken place, grazing over the last decade has not been the causernof this reduced productivity. Keywords: Africa, rangelands, historical records, grazing, rainfall.

Year: 2000

Type: Journal Article

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