Assessment of Forage Productivity and Carrying Capacity
To investigate and recommend strategies, to manage and restore the rangelands and conserve their biodiversity in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.