Composition of crops and land-use types in relation to crop raiding pattern at different distances from forests
2013 (English)In: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, ISSN 0167-8809, E-ISSN 1873-2305, Vol. 167, 71-78 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Among the issues that farmers need to account for when planning their land-use and crop choice is yield loss from wild animals. The aim of this study was to examine both the distribution of land-use types and crops (in fields and homegardens) in relation to distance from forest edges and the possible impact of crop raiding mammals. Thirty transects of 1 km in length were laid out in a pair-wise design - 15 close to (<= 0.3 km) and 15 far from (1-3.5 km) forest edges. We measured the cover of the land-use types and field crops in each transect and assessed crop species composition in 4-6 homegardens along each transect. We also conducted a questionnaire survey for the occurrence of baboons and bush pigs in maize fields and in homegardens. Our results indicated that the distribution of land-use types and field crops was not significantly different between sites close to and far from forest edges. Similarly, the distributions of field and homegarden crop species composition were also similar between these locations. The occurrence pattern of baboons and bush pigs coming to the fields and homegardens was however strongly inclined toward transects close to forest edges according to the answers from the farmers. Although crops, such as maize, sorghum, tuber and root crops are frequently attacked by either baboons or pigs or both, farmers apparently did not stop growing these crops. The major reasons for this lack of response in growing practices between sites close to and far from forests could either be a perceived lack of alternative less susceptible crops or that farmers have adapted different protection mechanisms for the problem to be manageable. Both ecological and socio-economic studies are needed in order to understand the variation (and sometimes lack of variation) of ecosystem properties and corresponding management practices across landscapes.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 167, 71-78 p.
Afromontane forest, Ecotone, Homegarden, Pest, Primate, Species composition
Agricultural Sciences Ecology Environmental Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-90007DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2012.12.014ISI: 000317326700009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-90007DiVA: diva2:622095
FunderSida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, SWE-2009-134Formas, 229-2009-991