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PASTURE DYNAMICS AND FORAGE AVAILABILITY IN THE SAHEL

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Forage is an almost uncontrolled factor in the cattle raising systems of the Sahel. Its availability varies widely throughout the year and from year to year. The principal driving forces behind the dynamics of the Sahelian rangelands are the weather, grazing and bushfires. These factors, together with the substrate, determine the distribution of plant species in relation to their properties. The most important plant properties seem to be the rate and the heterogeneity of germination, the photosynthetic pathway and the length of the period of growth before flowering. A general scheme of the vegetation dynamics, based on these plant properties and the mentioned driving forces, is presented. The consequences of the dynamics for the food situation of cattle are shown. It is suggested how the knowledge about pasture dynamics can be used in rangeland evaluation in the Sahel.

Affiliations: 1: Centre for Agrobiological Research ; 2: Ecole Normale Superieure ; 3: Institut Economie Rurale

10.1080/0021213X.1979.10676870
/content/journals/10.1080/0021213x.1979.10676870
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/content/journals/10.1080/0021213x.1979.10676870
1979-05-13
2018-09-21

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