Semi-arid Vegetation Pattern, Stability and suitability to suppress sand movement in central Sudan


By N.K.N, Al-Amin.


Moving sand that threatens Gezira scheme is the dominant land degradation feature in central Sudan and the front line defence is the sparse scattered natural vegetation of the area. The study aimed to assess the role of this vegetation to suppress drifting sand and to monitor their ability to face the impact of climate changeand human activity (deforestation). The dimensions of the sand captured by single tree of dominant species,Acacia tortilis Leptadenia pyrotechnica Prosopis juliflora and Panicum turgidum were measured and the volumes ere calculated. To picture the drought pattern 5-year running means of annual rainfalls (1941-2007) of the study area were calculated and compared with long-term mean. Deforestation was indicated by local community wood consumption in relation to the average woody biomass (in good condition). The results show that scattered trees of the right densities had potentiality to settle drifting sand, but they were subjected to 20 years dry seasons followed by only 4 wet years and now are subjected to a new era of dry spell. This condition is not in favour of the semi-arid vegetation pattern sustainability and a suitable measure to enhance natural regeneration is needed. In addition the communitys wood demand was higher than the resource where aperson would destroy 0.5 ha/year compared to 0.9 ha/year per person available reveals the magnitude of deforestation. Encouragement of farmers to use alternative energy sources and functional application of lawsand regulations to protect the existing vegetation remain crucial.


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