Authors: BİNALİ ÇOMAKLI, MAHMUT DAŞCI, ALİ KOÇ
Abstract: A seminomadic animal raising system, known as ''yaylacılık'' in Turkish, is one of the best ways of using upland rangelands, particularly in rough terrain regions. Three rangeland sites were selected to determine the spatial effect of summer grazing distribution on botanical composition, canopy coverage, soil aggregate stability, and forage nutrient content in these range sites. On average, grass covered 61.09% of the total land in site I, 67.04% and 57.40%, respectively, in sites II and III. Legume covered 11.61%, 13.67%, and 18.05%, respectively, of the total land in sites I, II, and III. Other families covered 27.30%, 19.29%, and 24.55% of each sites, respectively. Sheep fescue (Festuca ovina) was the dominate species in all sites. The canopy coverage was highest (38.63%) in site II, lowest (25.80%) in site III. The range condition score was 39.5, 45.8, and 41.7, respectively in sites I, II and III. The range condition and health class was at risk in site I and II, and unhealthy in site III. Compared to the other sites, soil aggregate stability was higher in site II. Crude protein content was 12.11%, 13.34%, and 12.81%; available K content was 2.47%, 2.69%, and 2.12%; Ca content was 0.74%, 0.86%, and 0.76%; Mg content was 2515, 2825 and 2720 ppm; available P content was 1155, 1392, and 1203 ppm, respectively, in sites I, II, and III. Current grazing management practices leads to overgrazing pressure around water resources; therefore, developing new water resources and a suitable grazing management plan are necessary to provide sustainable use of upland rangelands.
Keywords: Upland rangelands, botanical composition, canopy coverage
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