(Article of periodic en Anglais - 2014)

Document title

Pastoral Abandonment, Shrub Proliferation and Landscape Changes: A Case Study from Gorkha, Nepal

Authors(s) and Affiliation(s)

Sharma Lila Nath ; Vetaas Ole Reidar (1) ; Chaudhary Ram Prasad (2) ; Måren Inger Elisabeth (1) ;
(1) Department of Geography, University of Bergen
(2) Central Department of Botany, Tribhuvan University


Seminatural grasslands have long been shaped and maintained by human-induced fire and grazing regimes in order to utilise extensive land areas, not suitable for intensive cultivation, for the production of protein for human consumption. Changes in either management regimes have great implications for vegetation cover and composition. In this context, we qualitatively examined 18 grasslands used by transhumance agro-pastoralists in western Gorkha, Nepal, to 1) show that the pastoral landscape is undergoing change due to shrub and tree encroachment; 2) understand the role of change in grazing and fire regimes in shrub encroachment dynamics; and 3) discuss management practices and policy implications of shrub control. In this region, grassland abandonment and livestock population decline have been the overriding land-use change trend over the last four decades brought on by out-migration of local people from these marginal areas. Our results revealed that Berberis shrub encroachment started approximately three decades ago and attained a problematic cover approximately 15 to 20 years ago. The shrub encroachment drivers are discussed in the context of changed fire and grazing practices. We underscore the necessity of management intervention to maintain the services provided by these seminatural systems; and suggest synergistic application of burning, weeding and grazing, rather than sporadic single treatment.

On examine qualitativement 18 prairies utilisées par des agro-éleveurs-nomades dans le Gorkha occidental. On cherche à montrer que le paysage pastoral subit des changements en raison de l'empiétement d'arbres et d'arbustes; à comprendre le rôle des modifications de pâturage et de régimes de feu dans la dynamique d'embroussaillement; et à discuter des pratiques de gestion et des implications des politiques de contrôle des arbustes. Cet embroussaillement a commencé il y a environ trois décennies et a atteint une extension problématique il y a environ 15 à 20 ans. Une intervention de gestion est nécessaire afin de maintenir les services fournis par ces systèmes semi-naturels


Article of periodic

published at : Landscape research / ISSN 1469-9710

Editor : Taylor & Francis, Abingdon - ROYAUME-UNI (1976)

Millesime : 2014, vol. 39, no1 [pp. 53-69]
Published in 20140102

Bibliographic references : 57



Digital Object Identifier

Go to electronic document thanks to its DOI : 10.1080/01426397.2013.773299

2013, © 2013 Landscape Research Group LtdTous droits réservés © Prodig - Bibliographie Géographique Internationale (BGI), 2014
Refdoc record number (ud4) : 28194997 : Permanent link - XML version
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