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Excessive livestock grazing overrides the positive effects of trees on infiltration capacity and modifies preferential flow in dry Miombo woodlands

Lulandala, Lufunyo and Bargues Tobella, Aida and Masao, C. A. and Nyberg, Gert and Ilstedt, Ulrik (2022). Excessive livestock grazing overrides the positive effects of trees on infiltration capacity and modifies preferential flow in dry Miombo woodlands. Land Degradation and Development. 33 :4 , 581-595
[Research article]

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Abstract

The increase in livestock grazing in African drylands such as miombo woodlands threatens land productivity and ecosystem functioning. Trees have positive effects on soil hydraulic properties, but few studies have looked at grazing intensity and hydrological functioning in different land uses. Therefore, we conducted a biophysical survey in Morogoro Rural District, Tanzania, where we identified four main land uses and land cover types, that is, Forest reserve, open-access forest, cropland under fallow, and active cropland. We assessed grazing intensity, measured infiltration capacity, and conducted dye tracer experiments to assess the degree of preferential flow in 64 plots. We also tested the effect of grazing exclusion on infiltration capacity in 12-year-old fenced plots. Our results show that irrespective of land use or cover type, soil bulk density increased by 10% from low to high grazing intensity, whereas infiltration capacity and soil organic carbon decreased by 55% and 28%, respectively. We found a positive relationship between infiltration capacity and tree basal area in plots with lowest grazing intensities. However, at higher grazing, the infiltration capacity remained low independently of the basal area. Preferential flow in deeper soils was six-times higher in areas with no grazing, indicating higher deep soil and groundwater recharge potential at low grazing intensities. We conclude that the negative impacts on soil hydrological functioning of excessive livestock grazing override the positive effect of trees, but restricting grazing can reverse the impact.

Authors/Creators:Lulandala, Lufunyo and Bargues Tobella, Aida and Masao, C. A. and Nyberg, Gert and Ilstedt, Ulrik
Title:Excessive livestock grazing overrides the positive effects of trees on infiltration capacity and modifies preferential flow in dry Miombo woodlands
Series Name/Journal:Land Degradation and Development
Year of publishing :2022
Volume:33
Number:4
Page range:581-595
Number of Pages:15
ISSN:1085-3278
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 405 Other Agricultural Sciences > Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Forest Science
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-114396
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-114396
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1002/ldr.4149
ID Code:27141
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Dept. of Forest Ecology and Management
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:18 Feb 2022 11:25
Metadata Last Modified:18 Feb 2022 11:31

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