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Fuls, E.R. 1992. Ecosystem modification created by patch overgrazing in semi-arid grassland. Journal of Arid Environments, 24: 59-69


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Ecosystem modification created by patch overgrazing in semi-arid grassland.

Summary / Notes:

The influence of patch-overgrazing on vegetation, soil condition and range hydrology was studied in the climatic climax grasslands of southern Africa. The research was conducted on six micro-scale degradation gradients, extending from patches in good range condition to severely degraded patches. It was found that long-term patch-overgrazing induces substantial vegetation retrogression. Reductions in basal cover of up to 90% were recorded. Soil condition and range hydrology were adversely affected by patch-overgrazing. Soil compaction and substantial topsoil losses result from vegetation retrogression. Soil moisture decreases of up to 60% were recorded in degraded patches. The end result of the patch-selective overgrazing is a reduction in rainfall effectivity. A drier micro-climate is engendered in overgrazed areas.

Year: 1992

Type: Journal Article

URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S014019631830541X


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