Journal article
Grazing itineraries and forage selection of goats in the Jabal al Akhdar mountain range of northern Oman.

Publication Details
Schlecht, E.; Dickhöfer, U.; Gumpertsberger, E.; Bürkert, A.
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Journal of Arid Environments
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In view of the repeatedly reported overstocking of the high-altitude pastures on Al Jabal al Akhdar, northern Oman, plant species abundance, cover and frequency, and herbaceous mass yield were studied in ungrazed versus heavily grazed areas of this mountain range. In addition, plant species selection by goats along a gradient of 1000-2000 m and spatial extent of pasture areas were investigated after abundant rainfall and a subsequent 6-months dry spell by means of manual observation and GPS/GIS tools.
The Substantially higher species diversity and herbaceous mass yield in the Ungrazed area illustrate the production potential of these mountain pastures or, respectively, the biodiversity and productivity loss resulting from continuous grazing, The concentration of goats' selection on only a dozen herbaceous and ligneous Species favours pasture encroachment with poisonous shrubs such as Nerium mascatense in the lower and Dodonaea viscosa in the higher altitudes. Given the spatially limited extent of pasture areas, these are exposed to high stocking rates. Therefore, grazing and feeding schemes need to be developed which reduce livestock pressure on the pastures, taking into account local property rights, herding skills and the recovery potential of the vegetation, which heavily depends on unpredictable rainfall events. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Last updated on 2019-01-11 at 16:04