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Title: Effect of Grazing on Soil Properties at Southern Part of West Bank Rangeland
Authors: Ayed Mohammad
Keywords: Grazing, Rangelands, Soil properties, Soil moisture
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Hebron University
Abstract: This study addressed the effect of excluding grazing on soil properties and soil moisture content after many years of severe overgrazing for two sites (Sorif and BaniNoem). The sites represent two different environmental conditions in the southern part of West Bank. Soil samples were taken from the grazed and ungrazed areas during 2004 and 2005 at 10 cm depth. Soil chemical and physical properties were investigated. The unggrazed pastures showed low bulk density (3 % and 12 %) in BaniNoem during 2004 and 2005, respectively. In addition, significantly higher O.M % in grazed area (2.89, 3.31) compared to ungrazed areas (1.86, 2.42) in BaniNoem during 2004 and 2005 study years, respectively, and there was inconstancy of EC, P, and available nitrogen (NO3- and NH4+) between grazed and ungrazed plots. Soil moisture significantly increased by excluding grazing during 2004 and 2005 at Sorif site and during 2005 at BaniNoeim site. In addition, the results showed (P< 0.05) higher soil moisture content (23 % and 33 %) at Sorif site compared to (10 % and 23 %) BaniNoem site in April of 2004 and 2005, respectively. In conclusion, rangeland management by controlling grazing might be the key issue to maintain vegetation cover, and reduce soil bulk density, that leads to increasing infiltratg tion rate, soil moisture storage and decreasing sediment loss. These results represent only the change after few years of excluding grazing, and more conclusive resultsa are required many years under such conditions.
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