PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION ON PIOSPHERE FORMATION AROUND DIP-TANK AREAS IN THE LOWVELD AND LOWER MIDDLEVELD COMMUNAL GRAZING LANDS OF SWAZILAND: 1) GRASS SPECIES DISTRIBUTION AND SOIL NUTRIENTS

Beyene Solomon Tefera, M.W. Mabuza

Abstract


In the communal areas of Swaziland, ticks are controlled chemically through a compulsory programme of dipping cattle and livestock movement controls. These dip-tank sites can have significant ecological effects in their surrounding ecosystems. The objectives of this study were to investigate the ecological effect of dip-tanks on the surrounding grass and soil layer in the communal grazing lands of Swaziland. Three and two dip-tank sites were selected from the Lowveld (LV) and lower Middleveld (LMV) ecological zones, respectively. At each dip-tank site, a 1000 m transect was established and divided into five sub-transects at 100 m, 300 m, 500 m, 700 m, and 900 m away from the dip-tank points to record data. A total of 20 grass species were identified in both study areas. In the LV area, notable piosphere formation includes greater frequencies (P

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