Time filter

Source Type

Lupane, Zimbabwe

Lupane State University was established in 2005 in Lupane Zimbabwe. Wikipedia.

Ndagurwa H.G.T.,National University of Science and Technology | Dube J.S.,Lupane State University | Mlambo D.,Border Timbers Ltd Mutare Zimbabwe
Austral Ecology | Year: 2014

Nutrient loss from litter plays an essential role in carbon and nutrient cycling in nutrient-constrained environments. However, the decomposition and nutrient dynamics of nutrient-rich mistletoe litter remains unknown in semi-arid savanna where productivity is nutrient limited. We studied the decomposition and nutrient dynamics (nitrogen: N, phosphorous; P, carbon: C) of litter of three mistletoe species, Erianthemum ngamicum, Plicosepalus kalachariensis, and Viscum verrucosum and N-fixing Acacia karroo using the litter-bag method in a semi-arid savanna, southwest Zimbabwe. The temporal dynamics of the soil moisture content, microbial populations, and termite activity during decomposition were also assessed. Decay rates were slower for A. karroo litter (k=0.63), but faster for the high quality mistletoe litters (mean k-value=0.79), which supports the premise that mistletoes can substantially influence nutrient availability to other plants. Nitrogen loss was between 1.3 and 3 times greater in E. ngamicum litter than in the other species. The litter of the mistletoes also lost C and P faster than A. karroo litter. However, soil moisture content and bacterial and fungal colony numbers changed in an opposite direction to changes in the decomposition rate. Additionally, there was little evidence of termite activity during the decay of all the species litters. This suggests that other factors such as photodegradation could be important in litter decomposition in semi-arid savanna. In conclusion, the higher rate of decay and nutrient release of mistletoe than A. karroo litter indicate that mistletoes play an important role in carbon and nutrient fluxes in semi-arid savanna. © 2014 Ecological Society of Australia.

Ndagurwa H.G.T.,National University of Science and Technology | Dube J.S.,Lupane State University
Animal Feed Science and Technology | Year: 2013

The potential and effective rumen digestion of three mistletoe species (Erianthemum ngamicum, Plicosepalus kalachariensis and Viscum verrucosum) and four acacia species (Acacia gerrardii, Acacia karroo, Acacia nilotica and Acacia robusta) browsed by goats in the semi-arid savanna in Zimbabwe was determined in vitro with or without including polyethylene glycol (PEG). The in vitro gas production (IVGP) (74.6 vs. 63.1. ml), gas production rate (0.05/h vs. 0.035/h) and effective degradability (46.7 vs. 35.3. ml) were higher in mistletoe than acacia (P<0.01). For mistletoe species, P. kalachariensis had the highest IVGP, potential gas production (b), gas production rate (c) and effective degradability (ED) than E. ngamicum and V. verrucosum (P<0.01). In acacia species, IVGP and potential gas production (b) were higher in A. karroo whilst A. gerrardii had the greatest gas production rate (c) than the other acacia species. In all browse species, addition of PEG, which minimised the inhibitory effects of tannin on microbial fermentation, resulted in an increase in gas production parameters except in P. kalachariensis (P<0.01). The effect of PEG on fermentation and degradability was greater in acacia foliage than in mistletoe foliage (IVGP, 19 vs. 41%; potential gas production, 11 vs. 16%; effective degradability, 13 vs. 42%), which suggested that the tannin in acacia was more biologically active than that in mistletoe. In both mistletoe and acacia species, there was an interaction between species and PEG for IVGP and effective degradability. This result suggested that the effects of PEG on fermentation parameters were species-specific as species responded differently to the addition of PEG. The increase in fermentation parameters due to the addition of PEG varied widely amongst the acacia species (range: 10-114%) and mistletoe species (range: 7-49%). Thus, the inclusion of PEG to neutralise or reduce the effects of tannins should consider the species were its use would be more beneficial, such as in A. gerrardii, A. robusta, and E. ngamicum in this study. In conclusion, mistletoe species show a high nutritive value with large potential for feeding goats in the semi-arid savanna due to the higher values of IVGP, gas production rate, potential gas production, and effective degradation than those for acacia species. In addition, our results support the use of PEG to neutralise tannins in tannin-rich forages. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Ndagurwa H.G.T.,National University of Science and Technology | Mundy P.J.,National University of Science and Technology | Dube J.S.,Lupane State University | Mlambo D.,Border Timbers Ltd
Journal of Tropical Ecology | Year: 2012

In a range of systems, studies on mistletoe distribution on the host plant have documented a number of factors that affect their occurrence and spread (Aukema & Martinez del Rio 2002a, Bowie & Ward 2004, Overton 1996, Reid et al. 1995). These patterns can be determined by host specificity, environmental conditions, host plant characteristics (Martinez del Rio et al. 1995) and the movement patterns of dispersal agents (Aukema & Martinez del Rio 2002a, 2002b). In mistletoe plants, host choice can be considerably influenced by the advantages of interacting with relatively abundant hosts (Norton & Carpenter 1998, Norton & De Lange 1999). Besides the relative abundance of host species, characteristics such as branch size, age and height can have a strong effect on mistletoe attachment resulting in size-related mistletoe infection patterns (Overton 1994). Generally positive relationships between mistletoe infection and host size have been demonstrated worldwide (Donohue 1995, Martinez del Rio et al. 1996, Norton et al. 1997, Reid & Stafford Smith 2000) and they have been interpreted in terms of the preferences by dispersing birds to perch and feed in taller trees (Aukema & Martinez del Rio 2002a) and trees accumulating infections as they age (Overton 1994). Aukema & Martinez del Rio (2002a) reported more frequent perching in taller-than-average trees by the phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens), which is the principal disperser of the desert mistletoe Phoradendron californicum. Thus, visits by mistletoe-seed-dispersing birds, and therefore mistletoe seeds received, tend to increase with tree height (Aukema & Martinez del Rio 2002a). Using a simple metapopulation model, Overton (1994) predicted the frequency of parasitized trees to increase with host age. Therefore, assuming that size is a good proxy for age, large trees are likely to be more infected than smaller trees. Reid & Stafford Smith (2000), using experimentally disinfected trees, found that larger trees were disproportionately re-infected with mistletoes. This size-intensity relationship may be used to describe mistletoe infection patterns. However, several previous studies have shown size-intensity relationships to be weak (Aukema & Martinez del Rio 2002a, Donohue 1995, Overton 1994, Reid & Stafford Smith 2000). This indicates that other factors may be important in determining mistletoe infection intensity, including that already parasitized hosts of a specific height are more likely to receive seeds than non-parasitized hosts of the same height or dispersers are likely to be attracted to trees for reasons other than size (Aukema & Martinez del Rio 2002a). © 2012 Cambridge University Press.

Sebata A.,National University of Science and Technology | Ndlovu L.R.,National University of Science and Technology | Dube J.S.,Lupane State University
Animal Feed Science and Technology | Year: 2011

The chemical composition, in vitro dry matter digestibility (IVDMD) and in vitro gas production (IVGP) of five woody species: Commiphora pyracanthoides, Terminalia prunioides, Acacia tortilis, Faidherbia albida and Dichrostachys cinerea browsed by Matebele goats in an open semi-arid savanna was determined at three leaf phenophases. T. prunioides had the highest IVGP volume (80.1ml) and C. pyracanthoides the highest IVDMD (0.60) with D. cinerea having both the lowest IVDMD (0.39) and IVGP volume (43.7ml). This was presumably due to the high condensed tannins (CT) in D. cinerea (20.1 A550nm) as compared to the low CT in T. prunioides (1.2 A550nm) and C. pyracanthoides (2.9 A550nm). T. prunioides had lower acid (240.6 vs. 354.4g/kg DM) and neutral (351.2 vs. 430.5g/kg DM) detergent fibre than C. pyracanthoides. Crude protein (CP) and IVDMD declined while neutral detergent fibre (NDF) and acid detergent fibre (ADF) increased with leaf maturity. In vitro dry matter digestibility was not influenced by CP (r=0.09, P>0.05) and NDF (r=-0.29, P>0.05) while ADF negatively affected IVGP (r=-0.54, P<0.05). Gas production was positively associated with IVDMD (r=0.54, P<0.05). Condensed tannins had a greater negative effect on IVDMD (r=-0.58, P<0.05) and IVGP (-0.68, P<0.01) than acid (r=-0.46, P>0.05; r=-0.54, P<0.05) and neutral (r=-0.29, P>0.05; r=-0.51, P>0.05) detergent fibre. Total phenolics were positively correlated to IVGP (r=0.73, P>0.05). We conclude that T. prunioides had good rumen fermentation attributes due to low NDF, ADF and CT contents. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Matavire M.M.,Geography and Environmental Studies | Sibanda M.,Lupane State University | Dube T.,University of KwaZulu - Natal
Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa | Year: 2015

An understanding of the role of land policies as major drivers behind tree species diversity reduction in southern Africa is still rudimentary. This study, therefore, sought to assess the aftermath of the fast track land reform programme in Zimbabwe on land-use and land-cover changes. Specifically, we characterised the spatio-temporal changes in land-cover between 2000 and 2010 as a result of the land reform policies in Quagga Pan Ranch, Masvingo Province, Zimbabwe. Secondly, we assessed the effects of the fast track land reform programme of 2000 on tree species diversity. Finally, we attempted to establish whether there was selective logging in newly resettled areas and also sought to understand the reasons behind selective tree logging. Land-cover changes were characterised after classifying Landsat satellite images of 2000 and 2010. Tree species data were collected using quadrats in newly resettled and unsettled areas for determining the state of selective logging. Questionnaires and observations were used to understand the patterns of diversity loss. Results show significant changes in land-use and land-cover between 2000 and 2010 with an increase in agricultural areas and a decrease in woodlands, specifically in newly resettled areas. Significant differences (α < 0.05) were noted between tree species diversity in areas that have been resettled and in areas that have not been resettled. Tree species diversity is relatively very high in areas that have not been resettled and very low in areas that have been resettled. Colophospermum mopane is the most used tree species because it's a cheap source of fuel and it's durable in domestic uses. It can be concluded that agricultural expansion is necessary for sustaining livelihoods as long as proper conservation methods of the tree species and the environment are maintained. © 2015 Royal Society of South Africa.

Discover hidden collaborations