Bush control studies in the drier areas of Kenya. 5. Effects of controlled burning and grazing management on Tarchonanthus / Acacia thicket.

Published online
07 Sep 1972
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Journal of Applied Ecology

Pratt, D. J. & Knight, J.

Publication language
Africa South of Sahara & Kenya


The canopy of a Tarchonanthus/Acacia thicket on Kenya grazing land was opened up by a series of controlled burns. Two burns killed >50% of the original population of Dichrostachys cinérea and appreciable numbers of the tree species of Acacia, but woody plant populations tended to increase through seedling establishment and there was no significant kill of the dominant thicket species Tarchonanthus camphoratus or Acacia brevispica. By the end of the 5.year experiment, the grass yield on plots burnt three times was 3000 lb d.m./ac, compared with 940 lb on unburnt areas. All perennial grasses, including Themeda triandra and Pani. cum maximum, increased in frequency. Goats helped check the increase in the population of woody plants, though not Dichrostachys, and significantly reduced the burn temps. Slashing also facilitated even burning. See also W.A. 17: 1206. F.s.-J.L.M.

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