Water points and their influence on grazing resources in central northern Namibia
2008 (English)In: Land Degradation and Development, ISSN 1085-3278, E-ISSN 1099-145X, Vol. 19, no 1, 1-20 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Debate among scientists about ecological dynamics and appropriate management of semi-arid rangelands has led to a challenge of received wisdoms of range management and pastoral development in dryland Africa. In our study, we investigated impacts of grazing on grass composition around permanent water points along a pipeline and around a traditional hand-dug well in an important grazing area in central northern Namibia. Grass species abundance and selected environmental variables sampled along transects radiating out from these water points were analysed using Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA). Significant grazing-induced changes, manifested by palatable perennial grasses being replaced by less palatable annual grasses, were identified around water points along the pipeline. There annual grasses Schmidtia kalihariensis and Aristida stipioides dominate the vegetation as far as 5 km from the water points. No significant grazing-induced changes in grass composition were observed around the hand-dug well. Private ownership leading to stronger control of access to traditional wells compared to the open access water points along the pipeline seems to be a key factor preventing overutilisation of grazing resources around the former.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 19, no 1, 1-20 p.
semi-arid rangeland, pastoralism, water point, grazing gradient, ordination, species response curve, Namibia
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-24162DOI: 10.1002/ldr.809OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-24162DiVA: diva2:196907