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Impacts of grazing ungulates on vegetation and soils in areas closer to water holes in serengeti plains, Tanzania

Hagwet, M.B., Senzota, R.B., Balakrishnan, M., Bekele, A.

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J. Bio. Env. Sci.4(5), 296-302, May 2014

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Abstract

Impacts of grazing ungulates on vegetation and soils in areas closer to water holes in Serengeti plains were studied between September 2004 and December 2004. Grass cover, percentage of grass grazed and soil characteristics closer to water holes and those as far as 4 km from water sources were evaluated. Grazing was found to be significantly more intense (P=0.001, F=8.44, df=35) closer to water holes than in areas away from water holes. Total grass cover and species diversity were significantly lower nearer water holes (P=0.01,F= 5.32, df= 35, P<0.0001, F=10.00, df=35). Percentage of clay, electrical conductivity and pH were significantly higher in areas close to the water holes and decreased with increasing distances from the water holes (P=0.01, F=4.85, df=35; P=0.02,F=4.02, df=35 and P<0.0001, F=17.05, df=35 respectively). Soil organic matter, total nitrogen and potassium were significantly lower (P=0.03, F=3.89, df=35; P<0.0001, F=26.9, df=35 and P<0001, F=37.34, df=35) in areas closer to the water holes. Park’s management is recommended to install artificial waterholes and salt licks in different areas of the Park to encourage a more even distribution of animals over the park to reduce level of environmental degradation around the few existing water holes.

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Impacts of grazing ungulates on vegetation and soils in areas closer to water holes in serengeti plains, Tanzania

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