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Multifunctional Rangeland in Southern Africa: Managing for Production, Conservation, and Resilience with Fire and Grazing

Listed author(s):
  • Devan Allen McGranahan


    (Department of Environmental Studies, Sewanee: The University of the South; 735 University Ave., Sewanee, TN 37375, USA)

  • Kevin P. Kirkman


    (School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal; Private Bag X01, Scottsville 3209, South Africa)

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    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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    Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Land.

    Volume (Year): 2 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 2 (May)
    Pages: 1-18

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    Handle: RePEc:gam:jlands:v:2:y:2013:i:2:p:176-193:d:25500
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    1. Allan Low & Penny Akwenye & Kaatry Kamwi, 1999. "Small-family farm types: Examples from Northern Namibia and implications for agrarian reform in South Africa," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 335-344.
    2. Charlie Shackleton & Sheona Shackleton & Ben Cousins, 2001. "The role of land-based strategies in rural livelihoods: The contribution of arable production, animal husbandry and natural resource harvesting in communal areas in South Africa," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(5), pages 581-604.
    3. Campbell, Bruce M. & Gordon, Iain J. & Luckert, Martin K. & Petheram, Lisa & Vetter, Susanne, 2006. "In search of optimal stocking regimes in semi-arid grazing lands: One size does not fit all," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 75-85, November.
    4. Reed, Mark S. & Fraser, Evan D.G. & Dougill, Andrew J., 2006. "An adaptive learning process for developing and applying sustainability indicators with local communities," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(4), pages 406-418, October.
    5. Ben Cousins, 1999. "Invisible capital: The contribution of communal rangelands to rural livelihoods in South Africa," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 299-318.
    6. PID Kinyua & G Cornelis van Kooten & EH Bulte, 2000. "African wildlife policy: protecting wildlife herbivores on private game ranches," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 27(2), pages 227-244, June.
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