Investigating short-term grazing capacity changes in steppe and semi-steppe regions

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Research Paper 01/12/2014
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Investigating short-term grazing capacity changes in steppe and semi-steppe regions

Fariba Shahsavand, HosseinArzani, Ali Tavili, Mohammad Jafari, ShahramKhaliqi Sygarudi
J. Bio. Env. Sci.5( 6), 99-106, December 2014.
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Abstract

One of the important objectives of natural resources management is to determine the range production in order to specify the range capacity. Determining the grazing capacity of forage plants may be based on the annual growth or mean long-term capacity. Grazing capacity is more likely to be determined by the complicated factors of plant production and consumption. Short-term estimation of grazing capacity will be meaningless unless natural elements as well as management factors are completely to be considered. This study was conducted in both semi-steppe and steppe regions. Statistical results of short-term capacity determination indicate that Pashmakan, Vardasht and Akhcheh (semi steppe region) with 0.5, 0.2 and 0.1 livestock have the highest grazing capacity, respectively. In steppe region, results showed that Nemati with 0.45 livestock has the highest capacity whereas Khoshkrood and Kachalu have 0.05 and 0.03 livestock, respectively. This topic indicate that in semi-steppe regions, grazing capacity has been affected by the range production due to the fixed range area elements, grazing period and daily livestock needs. As the range production increases, grazing capacity is enhanced. High precipitation and vegetation of these rangelands, especially grasses lead to the increase of production. Studying the production in steppe regions shows that range production and vegetation in Nemati rangeland are of more appropriate conditions due to its correct management plans as compared to Khoshkrood and Kachalu. Thus, suitable or unsuitable range management and climatic variations are regarded as important elements which can considerably affect the plant composition, production and vegetation.

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