Rangeland evaluation in the middle Awash valley of Ethiopia: I. Herbaceous vegetation cover
Journal of Arid Environments
Adami Tulu Research Center, P. O. Box 35, Zeway, Ethiopia; Department of Animal, Wildlife and Grassland Sciences, University of the Free State, P.O. Box 339, Bloemfontein, 9300, South Africa
The objective of this study was to determine the condition and grazing capacity of commonly grazed rangeland of pastoralists living in the Kereyu-Fantale and Awash-Fantale districts of Ethiopia. In each of the districts, data on grass species composition, basal cover, bare ground, soil erosion and dry matter (DM) yield were collected. The most dominant grass species in the study districts was Chrysopogon plumulosus, followed by different species of Sporobolus. The percentage bare ground varied from 0.3% to 10.8%, with a mean value of 5.3%. The basal cover in both districts was low, averaging 3.4%. The DM yield of the grass ranged between 168.5 and 832 kg ha-1. The grazing capacity varied from as low as 54.1 to as high as 7.1 ha LSU-1. The general conclusion that can be made is that the condition of the rangeland in the Middle Awash Valley of Ethiopia is poor, requiring careful and participatory management. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
bare soil; community composition; dry matter; environmental assessment; environmental conditions; grass; grazing pressure; rangeland; soil erosion; valley; vegetation cover; Africa; Awash Valley; East Africa; Ethiopia; Fantale; Sub-Saharan Africa; Chrysopogon plumulosus; Sporobolus