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University of Alberta (1995)

Effects of prescribed burning on the grassland vegetation of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, Botswana

Theophilus, Isaac Kaumana

Titre : Effects of prescribed burning on the grassland vegetation of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, Botswana

Auteur : Theophilus, Isaac Kaumana

Etablissement de soutenance : University of Alberta

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 1995

Résumé
In the grassland vegetation of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park in north-central Botswana (20$\sp\circ23\sp\prime$S, 24$\sp\circ49\sp\prime$E), dry season fires are a common phenomenon. Government has, with little success, tried to suppress all uncontrolled fires. Increasing human encroachment into conservatIon areas has led to perpetual conflicts between wildlife and the livestock sector. As a result of reduced wildlife mobility to areas of natural migration, management was forced to seek viable alternative means to provide high quality forage for the wildlife. A study was initiated in 1992 to test the hypotheses that season of burning did not have effects on (i) forage productivity, (ii) forage quality, and (iii) changes in vegetative cover and species composition. Following burning, forage productivity was significantly lower in the Burn treatments than in the No Burn, forage moisture was higher in the newest burn than the No Burn. By the second growing season the Burn treatments had recovered their productivity to the No Burn levels. Higher crude protein was found in the young, actively growing forage at the onset of growth while maximum digestibility values were found during the mid-growing season. Both variables were very low during the dry season indicating that low forage quality will likely negatively affect animals during the dry season.

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