DETERMINING CARRYING CAPACITY OF UNTREATED AND TREATED AREAS OF MARI RESERVE FOREST (POTHWAR TRACT) AFTER RESEEDING WITH CENCHRUS CILIARIS
A. A. Chaudhry, M. S. Haider**, J. Ahsan, and S. Fazal
Range Management Branch, Punjab Forestry Research Institute (PFRI), Faisalabad
*Forestry, Range and Wildlife Management, University College of Agriculture, University of Sargodha
Corresponding author email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mari Reserve Forest of Pothwar tract covers an area of 3055 ha. Due to uncontrolled grazing, the range area has degraded and supports mainly unpalatable vegetation. In 2005-06, a 911 ha area was reseeded with Cenchrus ciliaris (Dhaman/Buffel grass). Forage production on both the reseeded/treated and untreated areas was measured in 2007 at the end of the growing season during October. The reseeded area produced about 16 times (7733 kg/ha) more forage than the untreated area (491 kg/ha). General Grass coverage on an average was 27% and 78% in untreated and treated pastures, respectively. Carrying capacity (Animal Units per Year) based on dry biomass of grasses/herbs was found to be 0.07 AUY/ha and 1.18 AUY/ha in untreated and treated areas, respectively or in other words, rakh with an area of 3055 ha can provide fodder to 3605 AUY if seeded, and otherwise it will support only 214 AUY. These results indicate that reseeding may be an important management practice for improving degraded rangelands of Pakistan.
Key words: Carrying capacity; Reseeding; Forage production; Vegetation cover; Cenchrus ciliaris, Animal Units per Year (AUY).