The Impact of Grazing and Land Reclamation on Natural Plant Biodiversity in Al-Fara’a Area

Discussion Committee: 
Prof. Dr. Mohammed S. Ali-Shtayeh- Supervisor
Dr. Ayed Mohammed- External Examiner
Dr. Munqez J. Shtaya- Internal Examiner
Prof. Mohammed S. Ali-Shtayeh
Ammar Gazi Mahmoud Salahat
This study was carried out in Tallouza village which located in the Wadi El-Far’a area in West Bank in order to study the effect of grazing and land reclamation on natural vegetation diversity during two growing seasons (2005-2006 and 2006-2007). Four sites of grassland ecosystem of different type of land use (reclaimed grassland, recently no-grazing grassland, under-grazing grassland, natural reserved grassland) were selected. Vegetation and soil sampling were carried out in mid-April for each growing season, data about amount and distribution of rainfall and temperature were collected for the area during the two growing season. Vegetation sampling and above ground biomasses were determined by using quadrate method. Braun-Blanquet scale was used to visually estimate the relative vegetation cover of each species. The study showed that vegetation composition and percent vegetation cover differ between the sites. Percent vegetation cover was significantly increased in recently no-grazing grassland when compared it with under-grazing grassland and the highest percent vegetation cover was in the natural reserved grassland, and this was indicator for the high potential of this grassland for the rehabilitation in few years when we exclude grazing. Species diversity, evenness, above ground biomass and density were significantly higher in the recently no-grazing grassland and natural reserved grassland than under-grazing grassland. Agricultural activities, especially ploughing were justifying the low natural species diversity evenness, above ground biomass and density in reclaimed grassland. Species found in under-grazing grassland were mostly low palatable to grazing animals, mostly small, prostrate or rosette plants while in natural reserve grassland mostly palatable to grazing animals, mostly tall and erect plants. The vegetation cover observed in mid April 2007 was higher than mid April 2006 at natural reserve grassland and recently no-grazing grassland were due to the differences in distribution of precipitation in the two growing seasons and grazing exclusion. There was no significant difference between the sites in the edaphic factors, so we didn’t know the effect of these factors on natural vegetation diversity in the area.
Pages Count: