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The WASCAL Grazing Experiment

The resilience of degraded rangeland vegetation is analyzed with a long-term, full factorial field experiment. It was set up in Northern Ghana (close to the city Bolgatanga) at the onset of the growth period 2012. The experiment is distributed over three different slope positions (upslope, footslope, lowland position) and four replications (blocks) per slope position. Three treatments (GRA – grazed; STE – short-term exclosure for one growth period, and LTE – long-term exclosure) are implemented per block. In total, 180 observation plots with a size of 1 m² have been established. Here, effects of multiple biotic and abiotic factors on forage resources and on other ecosystems services are assessed.

Schematic outline of the WASCAL Grazing Experiment. Circles: Observation plots (1 m²) grazed according to local grazing management (GRA); squares: grazing excluded with moveable cages (1 m²) for one vegetation period (STE); triangles: observation plots (1 m²) within exclosure fences (LTE). Block size is ca 1000m²; size of long-term exclosures is 100 m².