Original Articles

Towards a plant‐based technique to measure utilization of karoo bushes

DOI: 10.1080/02566702.1988.9648119
Author(s): F.O. HobsonDepartment of Agriculture (eastern Cape Region),

Abstract

The precision of various destructive techniques for estimating utilization of karoo bushes was investigated with the prerequisite that removal of 20 % of the edible material of individual species could be shown to be statistically significant. Where the total mass of destructively‐sampled plants was compared, a sample of 300 plants/species was required for this level of precision. In contrast, only 100 plants/species were required when utilization was based on edible phytomass. The sparseness of karoo veld renders the destructive sampling of areas less efficient than clipping individual plants. However, sampling of whole plants and their separation into edible and inedible fractions is laborious and expensive. There is thus a need to develop suitable nondestructive techniques.

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