alexa Herbaceous species composition, dry matter production and condition of the major grazing areas in the mid rift valley of Ethiopia [2001]
Environmental Sciences

Environmental Sciences

Journal of Biodiversity & Endangered Species

Author(s): Amsalu Sisay, Robert Baars

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A vegetation inventory was conducted in the Mid Rift Valley of Ethiopia to determine the herbaceous species composition, dry matter production and range condition of different grazing areas so as to recommend the possible management option in improve grazing areas of the Valley. The valley was stratified in three altitude zones: bottom (1500-1700 m), medium (1700-2000 m), and top-land (2000-2500 m). Each altitude zone was in turn stratified into 4 or 5 differently grazed areas. Highest proportion of decreasers (48%) and lowest proportion of invaders (8%) were observed in the bottomland. This implies that the bottom-land was less affected by grazing. On the other hand, the high proportion of increasers (71%) and invaders (24%) in the medium altitude showed that grazing areas of the region were heavily grazed and their condition is declining. The unpalatable Pennisetum schimperi was the most dominant grass (30%) in the top land, particularly along roadside and communally grazed areas. The botton-land was the highest (p0.05) in terms of its species composition score and the least (p0.05) in its total bio-mass indicating that forage production in the region was more affected by moisture stress than grazing pressure. Medium altitude was the lowest (p0.05) of all in its species composition score. Grazing areas of the top-land with relatively high total biomass (1400 kg/ha) and very low proportion of more palatable grasses (3%) were affected more by grazing press

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This article was published in Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research and referenced in Journal of Biodiversity & Endangered Species

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