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Effects of grazing on floristic diversity, production and forage quality of Malagasy highland savanna (Fianarantsoa area) Volume 19, issue 1, janvier-février-mars 2008

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Authors
Département de biologie et écologie végétales, Faculté des sciences, BP 906, Université d’Antananarivo, Madagascar, Gestion des espaces ruraux et environnement/Institut de recherche pour le développement (Gerem/IRD), BP 434, Tsiadana, Route d’Ambohipo, 101 Antananarivo, Madagascar

A study of the effects of grazing (grazed, ungrazed) was carried out in the Fianarantsoa area (Malagasy highland). The objectives were to evaluate the effects on botanical composition, species richness, diversity, production and forage quality of savanna dominated by Aristida similis and Sporobolus subulatus. The study showed that grazing decreases plant species richness and floristic diversity (the Shannon-Weaver diversity index and the regularity index) but increases herbaceous plant cover. This herbaceous plant cover does not take only the reduction due to animals into account but also considers each species’ stemming behavior following browsing. Grazing favors widthwise growth for some species. Furthermore, grazing decreases biomass and total herbaceous epigeous phytomass while increasing the rate of pasture value parameters.