The effect of Grazing around Permanent Water Sources on the Spatial Heterogeneity of Vegetation in Ennuhud Locality, Sudan
This study was conducted in at El Nuhud locality 27o -29’- latitudes and 14 o -20’ longitudes with the objective of studying the effects of grazing intensity around water points on range attributes. Data were collected via line transects method for three seasons from five points around water sources and similar number from points six kilometers from water sources. Plants frequency, density, forage production per hectare, carrying capacity (hectare / animal unit / year) and range condition around water points to those far from them were compared. Loop method and Quadrate were used to measure those parameters. The results indicated that there were significant differences in plants frequency and density in areas around water points when compared with those far from them. Plants that dominated sites around water points and were mostly unpalatable species such as Abutilon figarianum (Nyada), Acanthespermum hespidum (Herab hausa), Amaranthus grecisans (Lisan eltair), Zornia glochidiata (Shillini) and Ruela patula (Um tagtaga) and their frequencies were 18.2, 17.4, 12.9, 9.8 and 8.9 % respectively. On sites far from water points Eragrostic tremula (Banu), Cenchrus biflorus (Haskanit khashin), Stylosanthesis flavicans(Natasha), Aristida pallida (Gaw) and Fimbristylis dichotomo (Um fesaisiat) were dominant where their frequencies were 19, 13, 12, 11.5 and 11.4% respectively. There were significant differences in forage production according to location. Higher biomass (173kg/hectare) was obtained from sites far from water points, compared to 60.7 kg per hectare around water points. Carrying capacity was 3.6 at sites far from water points and 10.5 hectare per animal unit per year around water points. Range condition was poor around water points and excellent on sites far from water points. The study concluded that plant attributes were significantly (P <0.01) better at sites far from water sources than at around water point as an effect of intensive grazing. It is recommended that estimation of the carrying capacity precede decision on drilling water points. The distribution of animals and their grazing duration should also be determined prior to provision of water. Biomass of forage can be packed from far sites to be used around water points during the dry season.
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