This digital document is a journal article from Journal of Arid Environments, published by Elsevier in 2006. The article is delivered in HTML format and is available in your Amazon.com Media Library immediately after purchase. You can view it with any web browser.
An understanding of seasonal changes in pasture biomass, production and offtake of different range types is fundamentally important for the efficient management of livestock grazing. However, few studies have quantified these changes for transhumance systems, despite the fact that transhumance is still the main form of livestock management in several regions of the world and is often critical for the livelihoods of the people. One such area is the Northern Areas of Pakistan, where six villages and their pastures were selected for study. Pastures were categorized within foothill, dry temperate and alpine range types, and seasonal biomass, production and offtake of the vegetation was estimated by clipping paired caged and uncaged quadrats. The alpine range type had by far the highest biomass and offtake; the foothill and dry temperate range types were much more sparsely vegetated. Although alpine pastures were heavily used, particularly in spring, there was no evidence for consistent over-utilization of pasture resources. Within the dry temperate range type, production was highest during spring but significantly under-used. This indicates a potential for increased use of dry temperate pastures during spring, an important period both for early recovery of livestock body condition after winter and to reduce the heavy pressure on the alpine pastures at this time.
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