Data from University of KwaZulu-Natal Advance Knowledge in Plant Ecology
2012 JUL 20 (VerticalNews) -- By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Ecology, Environment & Conservation -- Data detailed on Plant Ecology have been presented. According to news reporting originating in Scottsville, South Africa, by VerticalNews journalists, researchers stated "Although grazing livestock may have direct negative effects on woody species through herbivory and trampling, (heavy-)grazing is often associated with woody plant encroachment. Two main mechanisms can explain the positive effects of grazers on woody cover: (1) Grazers reduce the interspecific competition with trees and may reduce fuel load, and (2) gut passage through livestock increases seedling establishment by scarification (increased germination) and fertilization by dung (higher survival and growth of seedlings)."
The news reporters obtained a quote from the research by the authors from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, "We tested the effects of fire, grass, cattle ingestion (transit) and dung on germination, seedling height and survival as well as on recruitment of Acacia sieberiana in a sub-humid grassland of South Africa. About 8,000 seeds were planted in the field in a randomized block design. The removal of grass by grazing and/or fire had the most important effect on Acacia recruitment in savanna."
According to the news reporters, the researchers concluded: "Our findings highlight the hierarchy of the main factors affecting Acacia recruitment, which provides new insights to the understanding of woody plant encroachment."
For more information on this research see: Grass competition is more important than seed ingestion by livestock for Acacia recruitment in South Africa. Plant Ecology, 2012;213(6):899-908. Plant Ecology can be contacted at: Springer, Van Godewijckstraat 30, 3311 Gz Dordrecht, Netherlands. (Springer - www.springer.com; Plant Ecology - www.springerlink.com/content/1385-0237/)
Our news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained by contacting S. Grellier, University of KwaZulu Natal, Sch Biol & Conservat Sci, Scottsville, South Africa.
Keywords for this news article include: Livestock, Scottsville, Agriculture, South Africa, Plant Ecology
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