Characteristics of Vegetation Growing in Indeterminate Fallows in South-Central Zimbabwe

Simbarashe Mudyazhezha, Emmanuel Manzungu, Tawanda Chimombe, Linda Mtali, Bruce Tavirimirwa, Sharai Ncube


Despite widespread food insecurity in Zimbabwe, there is an increasing amount of agricultural land being left fallow for indeterminate periods of time. The objective of the study was to assess the characteristics of vegetation growing in indeterminate fallows in Chivi district in south-central Zimbabwe. One metre by one metre quadrats were used to assess the species composition of herbaceous species while 8 m × 8 m quadrats were used for woody species. Attributes that were assessed included frequency, abundance, density of different plant species from which were computed diversity indices (Shannon-Weiner index and Shannon evenness index). The density, Shannon-Weiner index and Shannon Evenness index), and species richness of the fallow land sites were significantly lower than those of the uncultivated land. However, there were no significant differences among fallow treatments. Species richness, Shannon Index, and Shannon’s Evenness Index showed a weak and non significant correlation with length of the fallow period. Woody species which were cleared during land preparation and repeated weeded during the cultivation years were absent in all fallows regardless of the fallow period.

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Environment and Natural Resources Research   ISSN 1927-0488 (Print)   ISSN 1927-0496 (Online)

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