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Title: The composition, pattern and survival of savanna woodland in Bunyoro
Author: Turner, Brenda J.
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1966
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A study of the vegetation within a 100 square mile, recently established cattle ranch in Bunyoro, Uganda, has shown the necessity of an appreciation of its development within two scales of time, geological and human. The factors of the physical environment, e.g. climate, geology, relief, drainage and soil types are of fundamental importance, but within historical time Man has had a profound effect on the vegetation. The impact of Man is assessed by a historical study of the use of fire, cattle grazing, cultivation and the slaughter of game and secondly by an examination of the effect of fire and localised cattle grazing on the present vegetation. In an area of detailed study eight vegetation types are mapped and compared to the pattern of slopes and surfaces. Aerial photographs have been used in conjunction with levelled traverses which also form a basis for association analysis. Surface soil samples have been analysed to find if there is any correlation between soils and vegetation. Following an examination of the vegetative means by which plants survive fire, a new approach to the problem of fire survival involves experiments on the effect of heat on seed viability and germination, a factor of critical importance to annuals and to the wide dissemination of perennials. The rotation of herds of cattle has led to the abandonment of a large number of bomas, the subsequent colonisation of which is studied in detail, and the interaction of fire and grazing is discussed with special reference to the apparent local increase in Acacia hockii. The postulated changes in the composition and pattern of the vegetation are summarised and the evidence for the possible climax vegetation is considered. The effect of these changes on the pasture value of the ranch is estimated and the problems which have arisen and require further research are outlined.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Ecology