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Katjiua, M. 2006. Effects of cattle browsing on Terminalia sericea-dominated woodlands in a semiarid region of the Kalahari, Namibia. Dissertation. PhD Thesis, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa


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Effects of cattle browsing on Terminalia sericea-dominated woodlands in a semiarid region of the Kalahari, Namibia.

Summary / Notes:

Livestock farming affect plant growth and soil condition around artificial water points in arid and semiarid environments. This study investigated the following, in the northern Kalahari, Namibia: 1) the impact oflivestock on soil condition, vegetation structure and composition with reference to artificial water points; 2) cattle browsing preference on pre-rain flush during the hot-dry season; 3) the independent and interactive effects of plant damage, soil nutrients and moisture content on tolerance and resistance traits of Terminalia sericea. Condensed tannin was used as a measure of resistance trait, while growth parameters were used to measure tolerance of (herbivore) damage. This experiment was carried out in small camps in the field where plant damage and soil nutrients were controlled, and (4) under nursery conditions where in addition to plant damage and soil nutrients, soil moisture was also controlled. The nursery experiment was carried out on 19 month-old seedlings of Terminalia sericea; and 5) the perception and knowledge oflocal pastoralists on vegetation change and utilization of woody plants was assessed. The key results of the study are summarised in the sections below: Impacts of livestock around artificial water points in the northern Kalahari Livestock activities near artificial water points had significant impacts on vegetation and soils. Fewer, but tall trees with broader canopy areas grew near the water points. Herbaceous abundance increased with proximity to the water points, but species diversity of both herbaceous and woody plants was 55 and 29 % respectively of the diversity measured from 600-4000 m from the water points. Soil organic carbon and nitrogen content was generally higher at 10 - 20 cm depth near the water points than at lower depths, while soil moisture changed little across the soil profile and farther away from water points. Available phosphorus in the 10 - 20 cm soil layer was significantly higher at 200 m from water points than at any other depth and distance from water points.

Year: 2006

Type: Thesis

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