Land degradation and grazing in the Kalahari: new analysis and alternative perspectives

Land degradation and grazing in the Kalahari: new analysis and alternative perspectives

Association between grazing and land degradation in Kalahari has been oversimplified

Results from this study show that the over-used but under-researched association between grazing and land degradation in the Kalahari has been oversimplified. In typical Kalahari conditions, the ecological changes that have been brought about by grazing cannot be linked with more fundamental changes in ecosystem function. Basic soil processes appear relatively unaffected by grazing pressure outside the sacrifice zone, and there is no evidence to suggest that the resilience of the system has been affected through soil degradation. It should, however, be noted that this may not hold true for other semi-arid areas (including other parts of Botswana), where additional agents of soil degradation, such as soil erosion, come into play.

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