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Aboveground biomass and concentration of nutrients in semiarid rangeland plant species: Influence of grazing and soil moisture

Gul B1, M Islam2, S Ahmad3, S Gul1

1 Department of Botany, University of Balochistan, Saryab Road, Quetta, Pakistan.
2 Small Ruminant Production Scientist. Diversification & Sustainable Intensification of Production System Program (DSIPSP). International Center for Agriculture Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) Pakistan Office. National Agricultural Research Center. Park Road, Islamabad, Pakistan.
3 Rangeland Research Center, Pakistan Agriculture Research Council Islamabad, Pakistan.
Address correspondence to: Dr. Shamim Gul, e-mail:
This research is funded by Agricultural Linkages Program (ALP) of USAID via Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Pakistan.

Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany 2016, 85(all), 94-99.


Spatial and temporal patterns of aboveground biomass and nutritive value of rangeland species with respect to the influence of grazing and soil moisture were investigated. The research was conducted during two years at the Tomagh Research Station, near Sanjawi, Ziarat District, Balochistan, Pakistan. This area is protected from grazing since 1998; however, some of the area is open for grazing. Three sites were selected for research purposes: a protected plain, a protected hilly, and an unprotected plain grazed area. Sampling was carried out during the spring, summer and autumn seasons. Results revealed that soil moisture was greater at the protected than unprotected sites. The aboveground plant biomass was 66% to 76% lower at unprotected than protected sites. The biomass of annual plant species was nearly 0 at grazed sites. Species differed in their nutrient concentrations, but these were similar among protected and unprotected grazed areas. Our findings indicate lower nutrient use efficiency at grazed than ungrazed, protected sites. Eleven years of protection from grazing increased significantly plant biomass, enhanced their nutrient use efficiency and allowed growth of annual plant species.


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B, G., Islam, M., Ahmad, S., Gul, S. (2016). Aboveground biomass and concentration of nutrients in semiarid rangeland plant species: Influence of grazing and soil moisture. Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, 85(all), 94–99.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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