Original Articles

The influence of different land‐use practices on soil erosion, herbage production and on grass species richness and diversity

DOI: 10.1080/02566702.1989.9648167
Author(s): J. VenterNatal Parks Board, Republic of South Africa, B. LiggittInstitute of Natural Resources, Republic of South Africa, N.M. TaintonDepartment of Grassland Science, Republic of South Africa, G.P.Y. ClarkeDepartment of Statistics, Republic of South Africa


A fence‐line contrast study compared erosion levels, herbage production and grass species diversity in Umfolozi Game Reserve (UGR) and adjacent KwaZulu (KWZ). There was no significant difference in soil loss or A‐horizon depths measured in KWZ and UGR, but there were significant differences in both parameters when measurements from upper, mid and lower slope sites were compared. Similarly, there was no significant difference between herbage accumulated in KWZ and UGR in the absence of grazing, but there was a significant difference between the upper, mid and lower slope plots. There was also no significant difference between grass species richness measured on plots in KWZ and UGR, but there was a highly significant difference when the grass species richness was compared between upper, mid and lower slopes. The major conclusion drawn from these results was that differences in the topographical position of the plots, rather than differences in land‐use practices, explained the greater amount of variability in the data.

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