Improvement of the Mediterranean cork-oak forest of Zerdeb using grazing flocks


Abstract: Numerous experiments aiming at protecting and improving the cork-oak forest in thenorth Mediterranean region used grazing flocks to control the combustible shrub stratum. Theresuts obtained by setting-up pasture improvement trial to control grazing in The Zerdab cork-oakforest of the Gourari region (West Algeria) showed that this environment can yield till 1 ton ofdry material/ha as pasture. Such an asset stimulates farmers to manage the environment in orderto keep up this production and simultaneously participate to erosion control and water and soilconservation (20% of increasing infiltration and 12% of reducing erosion). Sheep farming cannotguarantee sufficient maintenance of undergrowth clearing. But the farmer provides supplementarymechanical clearing to maintain his forage resources. But one can wonder if the consequence ofthese pasture improvement go beyond simply reducing the fire risk. The reduction of the bushstratum and the recycling of fertilizing constituents should result in a global increase in thefertility of the environment and a reduction of soil erosion.

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