Species, Functional Groups and Community Structure in Seedbanks of the Arid Nama Karoo: Grazing Impacts and Implications for Rangeland Restoration

Dreber, N., J. Oldeland and G.M.W. van Rooyen

Publication Date:

The regeneration potential of grazing-affected Nama Karoo vegetation was evaluated by comparing soil seed banks of different microsites across a fence-line contrast in arid Namibia. Seed banks under low and high grazing pressure reflected the condition of the standing vegetation in terms of composition, community structure and species abundance distributions. Results indicated an advanced divergence in the vegetation at the degraded site with seed banks of species common under sustainable grazing being drastically reduced. Their low abundance, even in safe sites, suggests that long-distance dispersal is one of the main limiting factors for natural re-establishment after disturbance. The inertia in recovery of Namibian degraded rangelands through seed limitation can be overcome only by active species introduction.

Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed Article

Agriculture Ecosystems and the Environment