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 OJE  Vol.1 No.2 , August 2011
Influence of early dry season fires on primary production in western Serengeti grasslands, Tanzania
Abstract: Short-term, i.e. 4-9 weeks aboveground net primary production (ANPP) temporal patterns during the first post-fire year in western Seren-geti National Park, and potential differences in the factors limiting ANPP between burnt and non burnt grasslands were examined and es-tablished. Fire stimulated growth at early post-fire stages, even during the dry season, July-October and led to larger increments in green phytomass compared to the non burnt grassland at the onset of short rains, Octo-ber-December. Further, ANPP in burnt plots correlated well with the ratio leaf/total standing phytomass suggesting that the accumulation of standing dead material can be a limiting factor to ANPP in burnt grass-lands. However, ANPP in burnt plots was unrelated to rainfall contrary to earlier arguments, but reached peak earlier and declined early in the rain season, perhaps due to the interactive effects of fire and grazing in the area. In non burnt plots, the temporal change in ANPP was more related to rainfall availability, at least until mid-growing season. Also, the phytomass structure differed between burnt and non burnt grasslands, and together with litter did not recover to non burnt levels within the first post-fire year. The study has demonstrated that the desire of the fire man-agement program in Serengeti National Park, which is to supply green forage to both migra-tory and resident populations during dry season is being fulfilled.
Cite this paper: Hassan, S. (2011) Influence of early dry season fires on primary production in western Serengeti grasslands, Tanzania. Open Journal of Ecology, 1, 24-34. doi: 10.4236/oje.2011.12003.
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