Gradients in vegetation cover, structure and species richness of Nama-Karoo shrublands in relation to distance from livestock watering points
Author: Simon W Todd
Publication: Journal of Applied Ecology, vol 43, pp 293-304
Gradients of animal impact known as piospheres tend to develop around artificial watering points, particularly in arid zones. Such grazing gradients represent a potential opportunity for differentiating the long-term effects of livestock activity from other environmental patterns. In this study, the impact of watering point provision on the plant cover, species richness and community structure of Karoo shrublands, South Africa, was investigated in the context of the evolutionary history and current grazing management practices of the region.
The impacts of watering point provision were investigated by sampling plant cover and composition along transects placed at set distances, ranging from 10 m to 2200 m, from 11 watering points.