Rangelands in north Africa and the near east in general provide numerous goods and services that have great economic, social, cultural, and biological values. For centuries, inhabitants of rangelands have engineered pastoral and farming systems that have sustained their livelihoods in these harsh and dry environments. Unfortunately, these rangelands have undergone profound socio-economic changes where traditional grazing systems (transhumance and nomadism) which had historically allowed for grazing deferment were abandoned. Almost all rangelands are now grazed continuously without any restriction in space or in time. To address the negative effects of overgrazing and also the recurrent droughts, a study was carried out in southern Tunisia aiming at assessing the effect of deferred grazing on plant cover dynamics and productivity. Percent plant cover, species composition, plant density and rangeland production were estimated inside the rested sites (1 year, 2 years and 3 years), controlled grazing sites (one and 2 years after 3 years rested sites) and free grazed sites, considered as control. Preliminary results showed considerable positive effects of the applied restoration technique (rest). The 2 years resting followed by controlled grazing showed a speedy recovery of these degraded ecosystems. Such low cost restoration technique would be considered as an efficient option given the limited or even lack of financial resources to rehabilitate arid rangelands. In addition, it has the advantage of conserving the biodiversity, improving forage production, reducing feed cost and mitigating the negative impact of climate change.
Authors and Publishers
The Society for Range Management is the professional scientific society and conservation organization whose members are concerned with studying, conserving, managing and sustaining the varied resources of the rangelands which comprise nearly half the land in the world. Established in 1948, SRM has over 4,000 members in 48 countries, including many developing nations.
SRM’s members are land managers, scientists, educators, students, producers and conservationists–a diverse membership guided by a professional code of ethics and unified by a strong land ethic.
The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) was established in 1977. It is one of 15 such centers supported by the CGIAR. ICARDA’s founding mandate to promote agricultural development in the dry areas of developing countries remains highly relevant today.