Grazing patterns affecting browse availability and sustainable management
Author(s): Ghazi El-Khidir Mohammed, Dar Elnaim ER Mohamed and Mona Bashir Mohamed Areibi
Abstract: Ecological biodiversity in Sudan needs a lot of focused work and research to enrich knowledge. Knowledge is of a vital importance for a better use of the vegetation cover to reach sustainable management systems. Browse systems in arid zones seek scientific management since it is strongly bound to activities practiced by people. This study was carried out in an arid area to serve as an example for other similar places. The objectives meant to be studied include the assessment of, first, the browse availability of the most dominant trees, second, to study the ground vegetation cover in terms of density, frequency, forage biomass cover and biodiversity and third, to study the socioeconomic aspects related to browse utilization.
Three sites were chosen randomly for the study. Samples of 250m x 250m were selected. Tree species in each sample were identified and tree density was determined by a direct count of the number of trees found. A major founding was the preference of Acacia trees as fodder trees. They provide both fodder for animals and used as a legume tree for soil fertility increase and soil conservation. Trees as legume plants also add nutrients which contribute to soil improvement. The tree density was found reasonable throughout the area whereas the natural regeneration found to be diminishing. Acacia tortilis was the most favorable fodder tree. Water source was the main factor that determines the utilization of browse resources during summertime. Tree density was decreasing due to over grazing, non-tree reseeding together with the drastic climate changes. The study recommended that conservation of plant cover is importantly needed through management and well-planned programs to keep the density of vegetation cover to be within the ecological sustainable balance. A well-designed extension messages were needed to serve maintaining the desired management. Soil conservation programs should be planned in close relation with income generating activities practiced by the poor people in the area. Different bodies that involved in the browse utilization must participate in the management process.