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Bailey D.W.,New Mexico State University | Tabini R.A.,Badia Research and Development Center | Waldron B.L.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Libbin J.D.,New Mexico State University | And 4 more authors.
Rangeland Ecology and Management | Year: 2010

Six varieties of forage kochia (Kochia prostrata L. Schrad.), two Atriplex shrubs native to North America, and four drought-tolerant perennial grass varieties were seeded and evaluated under arid rangeland conditions in Jordan. Varieties were seeded in December 2007 and evaluated in 2008 and 2009 at two sites. Conditions were dry with Qurain receiving 110 mm and 73 mm and Tal Rimah receiving 58 mm and 43 mm of annual precipitation during the winters of 2007/2008 and 2008/2009, respectively. Plants were more abundant and taller (P<0.001) at Qurain than Tal Rimah in 2008. Forage kochia frequency was 48 and 30 in 2008 at Qurain and Tal Rimah, respectively. However, no seeded plants were observed at Tal Rimah in 2009, suggesting that 58 mm and 43 mm of annual precipitation are insufficient to allow plants to persist over multiple years. At the wetter site, forage kochia abundance in 2009 was similar (P0.90) to that observed in 2008 and plant height increased (P<0.001) from 2008 (14.4 cm±1.1 SE) to 2009 (38.4 cm±1.1 SE). Sahro-select and Otavny-select were the most abundant forage kochia varieties (P<0.05), suggesting that these experimental lines could be more adapted to the environmental conditions of Jordan than the commercially available cultivar Immigrant. Frequency of perennial grass varieties declined (P<0.001) at Qurain from 82±4 SE to 39±4 SE between 2008 and 2009, respectively. Among grasses, Siberian wheatgrass had better stands than crested wheatgrass, with Russian wildrye being intermediate. Based on this study, forage kochia appears to have great potential for establishing palatable perennial shrubs in arid rangeland conditions in Jordan if annual precipitation is at least 70 mm. Arid-adapted perennial grass varieties might also be useful in rangeland restoration if annual precipitation is over 100 mm. © 2010 Society for Range Management.

Saoub H.M.,University of Jordan | Al Tabini R.,Badia Research and Development Center | Al Khalidi K.,Badia Research and Development Center | Ayad J.Y.,University of Jordan
International Journal of Botany | Year: 2011

The current study aimed to investigate the effect of three water harvesting techniques on the establishment of three forage shrubs and productivity of natural vegetation at Tal Rimah (N32° 17' E36° 53'), North-eastern Badia of Jordan. Three forage shrub species (Atriplex nummularia, Atriplex halimus, Salsola vermiculata) were planted. The effect of three water-harvesting techniques: Contour furrows, crescent-shaped and V-shaped micro-catchments was studied on biomass production and natural vegetation. The results showed that using contour furrows gave higher shrub biomass when compared to the crested and v-shaped techniques. Moreover, both Atriplex species produced higher average biomass (350 kg ha-1) than S. vermiculata (62 kg ha-1), which was clearly shown in 2006. Protection of the study site for 3-4 years improved shrub production of A. nummularia from 23 kg ha-1 in 2002 to 37 kg ha-1 in 2006. Plant survey of the natural vegetation also indicated an increase in the number of families (18) and species (51) in the protected areas. Concluding that, for rangeland rehabilitation in the Badia of Jordan, it is important to establish reserves with the emphasis on sustainable management such as protection from grazing for 2-3 years and using water-harvesting techniques. © 2011 Asian Network for Scientific Information.

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