Original Articles

A comparison of some range condition assessment techniques used in southern African grasslands

DOI: 10.1080/02566702.1991.9648280
Author(s): C.R. HurtNatal Region, Department of Agricultural Development, Republic of South Africa, O.J.H. BoschDepartment of Plant Sciences, Republic of South Africa


Techniques currently used to assess range condition in the grassland biome of southern Africa are reviewed. The methods were used to calculate range condition indices from fire‐climax and climatic‐climax grassland data. These indices were then used to evaluate each method in terms of sensitivity (i.e. the detection of spatio‐temporal differences in index), index interpretation and efficiency, bearing in mind the objectives of each technique. The Weighted Key Species Method and Degradation Gradient Method were found to currently provide the best indices for assessing range condition. Shortcomings of the techniques are recognized and suggestions are made for the application of these methods in different vegetation types.

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