• An Evaluation of Range Condition on One Range Site in the Andes of Central Peru

      Wilcox, B. P.; Bryant, F. C.; Fraga, V. B. (Society for Range Management, 1987-01-01)
      Little published information is available on the vegetation or its response to grazing in the high elevation (3,900-4,800m) grasslands of the Andes, known as the puna. The objective of this study was to evaluate grazing-induced vegetation changes on a major range site in the puna. Basal cover and diversity were compared on (1) rangelands managed by a cooperative of land holders (moderate grazing); (2) communal grazing land (heavy grazing); and (3) sacrifice or holding pastures (very heavy grazing). Basal cover was determined using point transects. With increased grazing pressure standing height of the vegetation was greatly reduced as was vegetation basal cover. Total cover of grasses was reduced while forb cover increased. Ability of a species to grow close to the soil surface probably enabled it to tolerate very heavy grazing. Species diversity as determined by Simpson's D, Shannon-Weaver's H', and species richness was highest on the community lands.