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Effects of defoliation frequency and intensity on production of four burned and unburned bushed grassland communities in South Kenya  [1985]

Too, K. D.(Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, Nairobi (Kenya). National Agricultural Research Laboratories) Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, Nairobi (Kenya) [Corporate Author]

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Effects of defoliation frequency and intensity on production of burned plant communities were studied in Kenya on the National Range Research station, Kibiko in 1985-1983. Study sistes were located in ecological zone V which showed some some contrast in topography, soils and dominant grasses. Two replications of four plant communities, dominated by combinations of five grasses were included within the eight exclosures. Grass was clipped from from two to seven time a year to estimate seasonal and cumulative biomass yield under two clipping intensities and dry season burn. The four plant communities were not statistically different (P0.05) However, community variation existed with the digitaria community yield the most photomaps and digitaria-themeda the least. Fire had no significant effect on overall yields of grassland communities. However, significant treatment effect was noted especially on burned plots. Treatment 1, which was clipped the most (13 times)during the study period had the most phytomass compared to all other treatments. Treatment 4 which was defoated 5 times had the lowest phytomass. Intensity of clipping did not show any significant differences. Phytomass from the heavy defoliation intensity (5cm)was slighty higher than the moderate (12cm)intensity. Soil physical characteristics had marked influence on species compistion and had moderate influence on production. Clay loams had more biomass production than sandy soils. Soils with high organ
ic matter. Sites with longer wet periods had more production than those which dried soon after the rains.