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Title: Biomass production and water use efficiency of grassland in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Contributor(s): Palmer, AR (author); Short, A (author); Yunusa, Isa  (author)
Publication Date: 2010
DOI: 10.2989/10220119.2010.528450
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Abstract: Using the results from a long-term grazing trial in the Dry Highland Sourveld of the KwaZulu-Natal province, we prepared a water use efficiency value (the ratio of the increment in annual biomass to total annual evapotranspiration) for this rangeland type. Using seasonal biomass measurements recorded between March 2000 and March 2007, we developed a model for predicting the increment in annual biomass using a regression relationship between fPAR (fraction of photosynthetically active radiation intercepted by the vegetation canopy) and measured standing biomass. This regression model was used to estimate the growth rates from fPAR for the period 2001-2006. During the period 2004-2007, when complete meteorological records were available, we calculated reference or potential evapotranspiration (ETₒ) using the Penman-Monteith equation. To approximate actual evapotranspiration (ET), we used the MODIS leaf area index to approximate canopy conductance component (G) of the Penman-Monteith equation. Using the adjusted fPAR curves as a surrogate for plant growth, and ET, we calculated a water use efficiency value for these grasslands of 7.5 ± 0.48 kg DM mm⁻¹ ha⁻¹ y⁻¹. This value relates well to other published water use efficiencies for natural rangeland.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: African Journal of Range & Forage Science, 27(3), p. 163-169
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Place of Publication: London, England
ISSN: 1727-9380
Field of Research (FOR): 050104 Landscape Ecology
050206 Environmental Monitoring
050209 Natural Resource Management
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 960505 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Forest and Woodlands Environments
960609 Sustainability Indicators
960604 Environmental Management Systems
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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