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University of Zululand (2007)

Impacts of livestock on rehabilitating post-mining Dune forest in Zululand

Mpanza, Thamsanqa Doctor Empire

Titre : Impacts of livestock on rehabilitating post-mining Dune forest in Zululand

Auteur : Mpanza, Thamsanqa Doctor Empire

Université de soutenance : University of Zululand

Grade : Master of Science (MS) in Agriculture (Animal Production) 2007

Résumé partiel
Richard’s Bay Minerals (RBM) disturbs the natural vegetation by mining heavy minerals (zircon, rutile and ilmenite) along the northern coast of KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. The disturbed area has to be rehabilitated in order to be reused by the future generation. RBM initiated a rehabilitation program in 1978 where the mining commenced, and that has resulted in stands of different ages, however, little is known about the impact of cattle from neighbours grazing in this rehabilitating forest. The study of the impact of cattle grazing on the oldest stand which has been under ecological rehabilitation for 28 years (during the time of the study) was conducted in order to assess the effect of cattle grazing. The following questions were addressed. • What is the impact of cattle on the structure and functioning of rehabilitating forests on the coastal sand dunes ? • What impact do grazing cattle have on the micro-environment of the rehabilitating forest ? • Do communal cattle disperse some exotic tree species from the community to the rehabilitating forest ? The study comprised of two components which are field and laboratory experiments. Field experiment was conducted on the 28 years old rehabilitating stand (see figure 2.2 in chapter two) and lab experiment was conducted at the University of Zululand in KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa. Field experiment addressed the impact of livestock grazing in the rehabilitation. Therefore a one-hectare plot was demarcated and divided into two halves. One half was fenced (exclosure) to prevent cattle grazing and the other half was unfenced (control) to allow cattle grazing. Eight transect belts of 80 m2 each were marked per subplot and three markers were pinned (one on each end of the transect belt and one in the middle) per transect belt. Transect belts were 5 m apart. A total of sixteen 0.25 m2 quadrats were clipped between the markers per subplot (exclosure and control). Clipped biomass was oven dried and weighed and further analysed for NDF and CP. Seed germination surveys was also conducted per subplots around each marker in a complete randomised design with four replicate. Laboratory experiment was conducted at the University of Zululand as a multi-factorial experiment which evaluated the external (possible damaging) factor(s) on Acacia karroo and the experiment was arranged in complete a randomised design with four replicate. A total of 972 Acacia karroo seeds were sown in 324 pots which were filled with sandy soil and each pot was planted with three seedlings. Seedlings were subjected to the following treatment : damage, water, fertilizer and shade each having three levels.

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