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Article

Rangeland Biodiversity and Climate Variability: Supporting the Need for Flexible Grazing Management

1
International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Tunis 1004, Tunisia
2
Institut des Régions Arides, Medenine 4191, Tunisia
3
Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Riyadh 11421, Saudi Arabia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Waqar Ahmad
Sustainability 2021, 13(13), 7124; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137124
Received: 20 April 2021 / Revised: 14 June 2021 / Accepted: 15 June 2021 / Published: 25 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Natural Resources Management)
Resting or grazing exclusion is an effective practice widely adopted to restore degraded, arid rangelands. To understand its effect on plant diversity, we studied Hill’s diversity indices during two growing seasons (2017–2019). The experiment consisted of a three-level factorial design with four plant communities subjected to different resting durations (one, two, and three years) compared to continuously grazed areas (control). The results showed that rainfall plays an important role in arid rangeland restoration. Under favorable conditions, one-year grazing exclusion considerably enhanced species richness and evenness diversity compared to longer resting durations under dry to average rainfall conditions. The decision to how long livestock grazing exclusion would last should not be decided upfront as it depends on the climatic and the site-specific conditions. The findings of this study will have vital management implications for development agencies. Knowing that short grazing exclusion with adequate rainfall amount and distribution could be enough and offers a cost-effective technical option to ensure the sustainable restoration of arid rangeland. This flexible grazing management would also be more acceptable by the pastoral communities. Longer resting periods could have detrimental effects on arid rangeland vegetation, in addition to adding more pressure on the remaining rangeland areas open to grazing. View Full-Text
Keywords: Hill’s diversity; Tunisia; plant community; climate variability; grazing strategy; opportunistic grazing Hill’s diversity; Tunisia; plant community; climate variability; grazing strategy; opportunistic grazing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Louhaichi, M.; Gamoun, M.; Ben Salem, F.; Ouled Belgacem, A. Rangeland Biodiversity and Climate Variability: Supporting the Need for Flexible Grazing Management. Sustainability 2021, 13, 7124. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137124

AMA Style

Louhaichi M, Gamoun M, Ben Salem F, Ouled Belgacem A. Rangeland Biodiversity and Climate Variability: Supporting the Need for Flexible Grazing Management. Sustainability. 2021; 13(13):7124. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137124

Chicago/Turabian Style

Louhaichi, Mounir, Mouldi Gamoun, Farah Ben Salem, and Azaiez Ouled Belgacem. 2021. "Rangeland Biodiversity and Climate Variability: Supporting the Need for Flexible Grazing Management" Sustainability 13, no. 13: 7124. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137124

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