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.
Does Seeding a Locally Adapted Native Mixture Inhibit Ingress by Exotic Plants?
Non-native plant species often colonize retired agricultural lands, creating monocultures with low species diversity that provide poor wildlife habitat. We assessed whether sowing a mix of 29 locally adapted native species reduced invasion of non-native plant species compared to allowing vegetation to colonize naturally following tillage. There was a sampling date x treatment interaction for canopy cover of perennial exotic plant species. Plots that were not sown to natives had two to six times greater canopy cover of exotic species than did plots with both preparation (woody vegetation removed, plowed, and disked) and control (no preparation or sowing) plots. Canopy cover of exotic plants was similar in prepared-only and control treatments from October 2008 to June 2010, ranging from 8 to 40%. Percent absolute canopy cover of native vegetation was 10-20 times greater on prepared and planted plots than on prepared-only plots during March 2009 to June 2010. Sowing a mix of locally adapted native species may inhibit encroachment by non-native species for up to two years after sowing on retired agricultural land in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas.
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