Southern Africa Collection

The Grassland Society of Southern Africa (GSSA) is involved and concerned with the science and practice of range and pasture management. This broad field involves primarily the use and conservation of natural resources. It encompasses applied fields such as livestock production, wildlife management, nature conservation, water catchment management and range and mine-dump rehabilitation. The disciplines include, amongst others, ecology, botany zoology, range and pasture science, animal science, soil science and genetics. This collection includes journal articles from the African Journal of Range and Forage Science as well as related articles and reports from throughout the Southern African region.

Contact
Grassland Society of Southern Africa
Address: 
GSSA
PO Box 41
Hilton
3245
South Africa
Total Entries in Collection: 
3603

Records in Collection

Published: 2007
Soil erosion in rangelands is widely believed to be caused primarily by overgrazing. The aims of this study, conducted in a severely eroded district under communal tenure, were to establish (1) how the extent and severity of soil erosion have...
Published: 2006
Sustainability indicators based on local data provide a practical method to monitor progress towards sustainable development. However, since there are many conflicting frameworks proposed to develop indicators, it is unclear how best to collect...
Published: 2007
It has been argued that the wide-scale provision of artificial surface water in semi-arid savannas may result in homogenisation of foraging regimes, compromising biodiversity and ecosystem resilience. This is the first landscape-scale study...
Published: 2007
Carbon sequestration in soils has been presented as a potential mechanism to enhance productivity in semi-arid lands in Africa while contributing to the mitigation of greenhouse emissions. Most of the literature, however, focuses on assessing the...
Published: 2008
A payments for ecosystem services (PES) system came about in South Africa with the establishment of the government-funded Working for Water (WfW) programme that clears mountain catchments and riparian zones of invasive alien plants to restore...
Published: 2008
Climate matching can assist in exploration for biological control agents to control invasive organisms, especially when the native range of the target organism is broad, and control is required in a subset of the organism's fundamental niche....
Published: 2008
We compared prediction of in vivo dry matter (DMD) and neutral detergent fiber (aNDFD) digestibility by the following techniques: (1) Tilley and Terry two-stage in vitro (conventional in vitro or IVDMD), (2) DaisyII in vitro (DaisyII), and (3)...
Published: 2007
In arid and semi-arid savannas, species diversity is strongly influenced by structural diversity, which in these systems is characteristically formed by woody vegetation. Shrub encroachment, associated with overgrazing by domestic livestock, changes...
Published: 2006
Wildfire can lead to considerable hydrological and geomorphological change, both directly by weathering bedrock surfaces and changing soil structure and properties, and indirectly through the effects of changes to the soil and vegetation on...
Published: 2008
Within arid plant communities species vary considerably in the ability to germinate under water stress. Attempts to correlate this variation with environmental gradients have remained largely inconclusive. Germinating only at high water potentials...
Published: 2006
This paper revisits the debate over the relative effectiveness of 'conservative' and 'opportunistic' stocking strategies for African pastoral rangelands. The paper is based on a reassessment of the results of an earlier paper in...
Published: 2007
This paper explores whether spatial variation in the biodiversity values of vertebrates and plants (species richness, range-size rarity and number or proportion of IUCN Red Listed threatened species) of three African tropical mountain ranges (...
Published: 2007
The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change allows a country that emits C above agreed-upon limits to purchase C offsets from an entity that uses biological means to absorb...
Published: 2007
Crop and rangelands are over 25% of the Earth's land area, and they are expanding. Agricultural ecosystems rely on a suite of supporting ecosystem services to provide food, fiber and fuel as well as a range of accompanying but non-marketed...
Published: 2008
Continuous human population expansion pressure on conservation ecosystems restricts wildlife areas, and necessitates active management. In areas of changing land-use and increasing human-animal conflict, responses of wildlife to direct human...
Published: 2008
Dry and mature tree fruits are a potential source of protein for goats in the semi-arid areas of southern Africa, but their chemical composition and feeding value is largely unknown. This study presents the chemical composition and in vitro...
Published: 2006
In semiarid savannas of Southern Africa current land use practices and climate change may lead to substantial changes of vegetation structure in the near future, however uncertainty remains about the potential consequences and the magnitude of...
Published: 2006
Tropical African climate has oscillated between markedly wetter and drier conditions on all timescales in response to global climate disturbances. A step-like increase in aridity over the past 3 Ma has been primarily paced by orbital cycles coupled...
Published: 2007
Summary Shrub encroachment due to heavy grazing has led to dramatic changes in arid savanna landscape structure worldwide. It is considered to be one of the most threatening forms of rangeland degradation altering plant diversity. However, possible...
Published: 2008
Palaeoenvironmental evidence indicative of former climatic conditions in the Eastern and adjoining Western Cape during the last ~ 45 000 yr is presented and summarised. Interstadial conditions began before 43 000 BP but were succeeded by stadial...
Published: 2006
Natural areas are becoming increasingly fragmented and embedded in an urban matrix. Natural and semi-natural areas at the urban/wildland interface are threatened by a variety of 'edge effects' , and are especially vulnerable to invasion by...
Published: 2006
In arid and semi-arid rangelands of sub-Saharan Africa, livestock are a central component of rural livelihoods and national economies, but their production is constrained by drought and disease, and exacerbated by institutional barriers and land use...
Published: 2007
Classic rangeland theory advocates stocking rangelands at relatively low and constant levels. This theory has been labelled inappropriate for savanna rangelands, because savannas are strongly influenced by stochastic processes. Opportunistic...
Published: 2008
The purpose of the study was to capture the restoration knowledge of land-users in lowland Namaqualand, South Africa to aid the development of restoration guidelines for this region. We interviewed different land-users during site visits to...
Published: 2007
Adequate water supplies are essential to efficient livestock production. In many areas livestock are in conflict with crops for water and for key areas of use. Both surface and underground sources are exploited by livestock. Conflict arises in the...
Published: 2007
This work illustrates available best practices to run a sensitivity analysis for ecological models. The properties of recommended methods and their ranges of application are illustrated by applying the sensitivity analysis techniques to two test...
Published: 2008
The potential to provide environmental proxies using stable carbon isotopes from modern and archaeological charcoal is explored. Experiments on modern Podocarpus (Yellowwoods) show that ?13C values of stems, branches and charcoal preserve proxy...
Published: 2006
Soluble organic N and C were extracted from soils under long-term kikuyu grass pasture, annual ryegrass pasture and annual maize production using water, 0.5 M K2SO4 and 2 M KCl. Quantities extracted with K2SO4 were more than double those extracted...
Published: 2007
Variations in the nature and extent of southern Africa's winter rainfall zone (WRZ) have the potential to provide important information concerning the nature of long-term climate change at both regional and hemispheric scales. Positioned at the...
Published: 2006
Ants are increasingly being recognized as useful tools for land managers to monitor ecosystem conditions. However, despite an abundance of studies on ant responses to both environmental disturbance and land management techniques, an analysis of the...
Published: 2006
Pastoral communities in East Africa are facing considerable challenges arising from shifts in land tenure policy from communal to individual landholdings and high human population growth rates. Over the last 30 years, livestock-to-human ratios have...
Published: 2006
We discuss the search for optimal stocking regimes in semi-arid grazing lands. We argue that 'one size does not fit all' and that different stocking regimes are appropriate under different conditions. This paper is an attempt to move...
Published: 2008
The impact of browsers on the structure of woody vegetation has been well documented in savanna landscapes but the spatial distribution of these impacts is poorly understood. Savannas are structurally heterogeneous and the effects of browsers are...
Published: 2007
This series of two papers describes a mechanistic model that simulates within years the productivity of vegetation and livestock on the communal semi-arid rangeland of the Succulent Karoo of South Africa. The model enables users to evaluate short-...
Published: 2007
The health of arid and semiarid lands needs to be monitored, particularly if they are used to produce food and fiber, and are prone to loss of vegetation cover and soil. Indicators of landscape health based on remotely sensed data could cost-...
Published: 2006
This paper forms part of a long-term study of land degradation in the Klein Seekoei valley in the Sneeuberg uplands about 30 km southwest of the town of Middelburg, South Africa (Fig. 1). Landscape degradation in this area is characterized by the...
Published: 2008
The differences in knowledge of biological resource use between societal and demographic groups are often poorly understood; yet they are an important element of sustainability. Differences in gender and generational knowledge of locally useful...
Published: 2007
The soil's resistance to concentrated flow erosion is an important factor for predicting rill and (ephemeral) gully erosion rates. While it is often treated as a calibration parameter in process-based soil erosion models, global change studies...
Published: 2006
High African elephant stocking rates in nature reserves in southern Africa have been shown to have significant impacts on vegetation structure and diversity. However, the direct and indirect effects of elephants on fauna, particularly invertebrates...
Published: 2007
Climate is one of the most important factors determining the sustainability of agricultural production systems. More emphasis must be placed on understanding the influence of changing climate conditions on sustainable agricultural systems, given the...
Published: 2008
The self-thinning line is a very robust pattern, which can be obtained in modeling studies by a variety of different mechanistic assumptions. Our opinion is that we can only advance in our understanding of mechanisms leading to the self-thinning...
Published: 2007
We analyze a dynamic and stochastic ecological-economic model of grazing management in semi-arid rangelands. The ecosystem is driven by stochastic precipitation. A risk averse farmer chooses a grazing management strategy under uncertainty such as to...
Published: 2007
Conserving African wildlife in human-occupied landscapes requires management intervention that is guided by a mechanistic understanding of how anthropogenic factors influence large-scale ecological processes. In Laikipia District, a dry savanna...
Published: 2007
The worldwide loss of utilisable rangeland in (semi-) arid areas results in huge economic and social costs. Only adaptive management strategies are able to cope with these systems, which are mainly driven by unpredictable and stochastic rainfall....
Published: 2006
Unlike any other biome, savannas consist of both trees and grasses in a persistent and equitable manner. This unique mixture of two different life forms attracted scientific scrutiny for decades. Embedded in this body of research studies is bush...
Published: 2006
Water erosion creates negative impacts on agricultural production, infrastructure, and water quality across the world. Regional-scale water erosion assessment is important, but limited by data availability and quality. Satellite remote sensing can...
Published: 2008
The commodification of traditional knowledge is a lively topic for academic debate, with opinions ranging from categorical rejection of this process, to views that it could be a liberating act. This debate is often characterised by generalisations...
Published: 2007
Many mechanisms have been suggested to explain the coexistence of woody species and grasses in savannas, yet, evidence from field studies and simulation models has been mixed. Shrub encroachment is an ecological and economic problem in savannas...
Published: 2006
Soil erosion plots of different types and sizes are widely used to investigate the geomorphological processes related to soil erosion. This field method has provided a variety of results, depending on the characteristics of the plots, on their...