ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 65 Number 2
Infiltration and sediment production of a bushed grassland as influenced by livestock grazing systems, Buchuma, Kenya. (99)
The effects of livestock grazing systems on infiltration rates and sediment production were studied at the Buchuma Range Research Station, Kenya. Four livestock grazing treatments were studied: high intensity, low frequency (HILF), sampled at the end of the rest period (HILFl) and at the end of the graze period (HILF2); rotation grazing (RG), sampled at the end of the rest period (RGI) and at the end of the graze period (RG2); moderate continuous grazing (MCG) and no livestock grazing (EXC). A combination of cattle and goats were utilized in each grazing treatment. The EXC pastures had the greatest infiltration rate although it was not significantly different from HILFl, or RG 1 pastures at the end of the rest period and the RG2 pasture after the grazing period. The MCG pasture infiltration rates were less than the other pastures although they were not significantly different from RG pastures. During August the greatest sediment production occurred from the MCG pastures although it was not significantly greater than RG pastures. During December the greatest sediment production was from RG2 pastures at the end of the rest period although it was only significantly greater than the EXC. Litter accumulation, grass standing crop, and surface soil organic matter content and aggregate stability explained 80% of the August and December variation in infiltration rates. These same variables respectively accounted for 73% and 54% of the variation in August and December sediment production. This research supports the idea that rest from grazing and the ratio of graze to rest period are important in maintaining hydrologic health and rangeland productivity.
Keywords: Litter; Organic matter; Aggregate stability; Erosion; Grazing systems