Rangeland Biodiversity and Climate Variability: Supporting the Need for Flexible Grazing Management

Published Date
June 25, 2021
Type
Journal Article
Rangeland Biodiversity and Climate Variability: Supporting the Need for Flexible Grazing Management
Authors:
Mounir Louhaichi
Mouldi Gamoun, Farah Ben Salem, Azaiez Ouled Belgacem

Resting or grazing exclusion is an effective practice widely adopted to restore degraded, arid rangelands. To understand its effect on plant diversity, we studied Hill’s diversity indices during two growing seasons (2017–2019). The experiment consisted of a three-level factorial design with four plant communities subjected to different resting durations (one, two, and three years) compared to continuously grazed areas (control). The results showed that rainfall plays an important role in arid rangeland restoration. Under favorable conditions, one-year grazing exclusion considerably enhanced species richness and evenness diversity compared to longer resting durations under dry to average rainfall conditions. The decision to how long livestock grazing exclusion would last should not be decided upfront as it depends on the climatic and the site-specific conditions. The findings of this study will have vital management implications for development agencies. Knowing that short grazing exclusion with adequate rainfall amount and distribution could be enough and offers a cost-effective technical option to ensure the sustainable restoration of arid rangeland. This flexible grazing management would also be more acceptable by the pastoral communities. Longer resting periods could have detrimental effects on arid rangeland vegetation, in addition to adding more pressure on the remaining rangeland areas open to grazing

Citation:
Mounir Louhaichi, Mouldi Gamoun, Farah Ben Salem, Azaiez Ouled Belgacem. (25/6/2021). Rangeland Biodiversity and Climate Variability: Supporting the Need for Flexible Grazing Management. Sustainability, 13 (13).
Keywords:
climate variability
plant community
grazing strategy
hill’s diversity
opportunistic grazing
tunisia