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Livestock grazing and rainfall manipulation alter the patterning of CO2 fluxes and biomass development of the herbaceous community in a humid savanna

Title data

Okach, Daniel Osieko ; Ondier, Joseph O. ; Kumar, Amit ; Rambold, Gerhard ; Tenhunen, John ; Huwe, Bernd ; Otieno, Dennis Ochuodho:
Livestock grazing and rainfall manipulation alter the patterning of CO2 fluxes and biomass development of the herbaceous community in a humid savanna.
In: Plant Ecology. Vol. 220 (2019) Issue 11 . - pp. 1085-1100.
ISSN 1573-5052
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11258-019-00977-2

Abstract in another language

Overgrazing by livestock and the changing patterns of rainfall, characterized by severe drought and floods during dry and wet seasons, respectively, threaten the sustainable productivity of the savannas. To understand the implications of such changes in Lambwe Valley—Kenya, we simulated 50% decrease (50%) and increase (150%) in ambient rainfall (100%), respectively, in grazed (G) and ungrazed (U) sites during dry and wet months. CO2 exchange and biomass production were quantified using chamber method and direct biomass sampling technique, respectively. Plots were named by combining the first letters of the sites followed by rainfall amount, i.e., U150%. Soil moisture (VWC) increased along a rainfall gradient of 50–150%. Grazing reduced the VWC, net ecosystem exchange (NEE), and total biomass by 19.07%, 57.14%, and 37.03%, respectively, with severe effects during the dry months. 50% rainfall strongly influenced the VWC, NEE (negative and positive signs indicate CO2 uptake and net carbon loss, respectively), and biomass compared to 150% rainfall. The U150% plot reported the highest mean NEE (– 8.80 ± 2.26 µmol m−2 s−1), AGB (1208.41 g m−2), and total biomass (1589.06 g m−2) during the wet months. Lower VWC in the G50% plot triggered a net carbon loss of 3.68 ± 0.81 µmol m−2 s−1 (NEE). Our results show that livestock grazing during the dry months hinders herbaceous CO2 uptake and standing biomass. Proper understanding of the interaction between livestock grazing and rainfall variability in humid savannas is essential for sustainable management strategies to regulate the herbaceous productivity.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER154252
BAYCEER154423
Keywords: Defoliation; Productivity; Rainfall variability; Respiration; Soil volumetric water content
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Plant Ecology
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Former Professors > Chair Plant Ecology - Univ.-Prof. John D. Tenhunen, Ph.D.
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Professor Mycology
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Professor Mycology > Professor Mycology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Gerhard Rambold
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Former Professors
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Former Professors > Professor Soil Physics - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Bernd Huwe
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Former Professors
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
500 Science > 570 Life sciences, biology
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2020 07:04
Last Modified: 12 May 2020 07:34
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/53873