Did you Know?
  • The Lappet-faced Vulture, a regular winter visitor to the DDCR, has a wingspan of 2.5-3 metres (8-10 feet)

Assessment of Forage Productivity and Carrying Capacity

Aims

To investigate and recommend strategies, to manage and restore the rangelands and conserve their biodiversity in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve.

Goals

  • Quantification of the forage productivity and evaluation of impact of important determining factors, such as soil and rainfall;
  • Estimation of the rangelands carrying capacity, that is, the maximum possible stocking of livestock that a rangeland can support on a sustainable basis;
  • Assessing the response of soil and vegetation to different grazing management practices for optimal rangeland use;
  • Assessment of the possibility of restoring the degraded rangelands with indigenous forage plants and defining the most appropriate conditions for this process.

Methodology

  • Site selection, sampling and environmental measurements.
  • Estimation of forage productivity and carrying capacity.
  • Building a model of the relationship between environmental factors and carrying capacity.
  • Assessing the response of soil and vegetation to different grazing management practices for optimal rangeland use
  • Enclosures will be established
  • Number of plots will be located in each enclosure
  • Within each quadrate, the following plant community attributes will be recorded:
    • A list for all the available species;
    • Species density (number of individuals per unit area);
    • Species frequency;
    • Species cover (for perennials);
    • Importance values (summation of relative frequency, relative density and relative cover) will be calculated for perennials;
    • Species richness and diversity.
  • Soil samples will be collected to measure its physical and chemical properties.
  • Recovery of different species will be assessed in each enclosure.

Expected Output

  • Development of management strategies and decision tools to proactively manage livestock grazing and reduce the drought impacts on plant community structure and function.
  • Building a model that could predict the carrying capacity in any season or region.
  • The rehabilitated sites would create more appropriate micro-habitats suitable for the reintroduction of some endangered or extinct in nature indigenous wildlife of the UAE.