The Impact of Grazing on Plant Natural Regeneration in Northern Slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania


Livestock grazing is considered to be of great ecological importance in terrestrial ecosystems if sustained at acceptable levels. Overgrazing has ecological ramifications which lead to degradation of the ecosystem. This has become a problem in many parts of Tanzania. A study was conducted in Northen Slopes of Mount Kilimajaro in order to examine the impact of grazing on natural regeneration of the grazed vegetation. This paper is guided by the hypothesis that the species richness, species diversity and density of regenerants vary across grazing intensities. The study area was divided into four zones as per grazing intensity namely heavily grazed areas, moderately grazed, least grazed and ungrazed areas. Ten rectangular quadrats of 20 m × 25 m were established in each zone, making a total of 40 quadrats in the entire study area. A stratified random sampling procedure was used in locating quadrats in each zone of grazing intensity whereby two subquadrats of 2 m × 5 m were nested in bigger quadrats. Natural regeneration was assessed in terms of species diversity and density of seedlings, saplings and poles. Results indicate that species regeneration varied among areas with different grazing intensity. The variations of seedlings and saplings density among areas with different grazing intensity were statistically significant. The species diversity of regenerants differed significantly among areas with different grazing intensity. Keeping the grazing intensity at low and moderate levels will stimulate more plant growth and diversity as opposed to heavy grazing which will lead to vegetation retrogression.

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Kikoti, I. , Mligo, C. and Kilemo, D. (2015) The Impact of Grazing on Plant Natural Regeneration in Northern Slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Open Journal of Ecology, 5, 266-273. doi: 10.4236/oje.2015.56021.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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