Multifunctional Rangeland in Southern Africa: Managing for Production, Conservation, and Resilience with Fire and Grazing
Residents of Southern Africa depend on rangeland for food, livelihoods, and ecosystem services. Sustainable management of rangeland ecosystems requires attention to interactive effects of fire and grazing in a changing climate. It is essential to compare rangeland responses to fire and grazing across space and through time to understand the effects of rangeland management practices on biodiversity and ecosystem services in an era of global climate change. We propose a paradigm of ecologically-analogous rangeland management within the context of multifunctional landscapes to guide design and application of ecosystem-based rangeland research in Southern Africa. We synthesize range science from the North American Great Plains and Southern African savannas into a proposal for fire and grazing research on rangeland in Southern Africa. We discuss how management for the fire-grazing interaction might advance multiple goals including agricultural productivity, biodiversity conservation, and resilience to increased variability under global change. Finally, we discuss several ecological and social issues important to the effective development of sustainable rangeland practices especially within the context of global climate change. The associated literature review serves as a comprehensive bibliography for sustainable rangeland management and development across the savanna biomes of Southern Africa.
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