Experiment on rehabilitation of grasslands after clearing of invasive aliens

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Removing aliens in progress.
Removing aliens in progress.

Dr Sukhmani Mantel and Dr Anthony Palmer (Agricultural Research Council) are involved in a project funded by the Water Research Commission that is looking at rehabilitation of grasslands after clearing of invasive aliens (primarily black wattle) in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. As part of this project an experiment was conducted where an invaded area was cleared of alien trees and then fenced off to exclude cows. Various amounts of lime was applied to adjust the pH of the soil which was acidic. We have analysed various characteristics of the area before (i.e. just after clearing) and after 6 months of exclusion and lime application. The measurements we have conducted include infrared imagery with a drone, vegetation survey, leaf area index (LAI), soil pH, and vegetation biomass. The experiment is coming close to an end and the above pictures show the area before and in April 2018.  Results to follow soon!

Source:  Dr Mantel

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