Dynamic carrying capacity analysis as a tool for conceptualising and planning range management improvements, with a case study from India | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
janvier 1993
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 

The paper begins with a literature review of the basic theories which underpin range science. Two major approaches for determining carrying capacity (CC) are described, animal or plant oriented. The inherent problems with each approach are discussed in the light of a recent, wider debate, questioning the validity of CC as a range management tool.Methodological approaches for determination of CC, with inherent problems, are discussed. A brief description is given of a study from Rajasthan, India, illustrating seasonal changes in dry matter (DM) production from a complex mosaic of fodder resources. Utilization is also complex and dynamic, with fodder imports and exports being realized either directly or through animal movements.It is argued that despite its weaknesses, CC is a useful concept for planning range improvement projects. A redefined, dynamic CC is recommended, based on local technical knowledge. The authors conclude that until a more user-friendly alternative is presented, in a practical, rather than conceptual framework, CC will remain the best practical tool available to planners. They stress the need to fully involve range users (herders) in all aspects of project planning and implementation, if sustainable productivity increases are to be achieved.It is suggested that a flexible stocking rate (SR), dependent on seasonal and annual variation in feed availability, must be a key element in any improved range and livestock management strategy. Traditional herders probably already practice this strategy on intuitive information.

Auteurs et éditeurs

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

D. Hocking
A. Mattick


The Pastoral Development Network represents a world-wide network of researchers, administrators and extension personnel interested in the issues of pastoralism and rangelands. Between 1976 and 1996 the PDN was managed by ODI and published regular mailings including newsletters and a wide ranging series of papers on pastoralism and related issues. There were also a number of other related publications.

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eldis (ELDIS)

Eldis is an online information service providing free access to relevant, up-to-date and diverse research on international development issues. The database includes over 40,000 summaries and provides free links to full-text research and policy documents from over 8,000 publishers. Each document is selected by members of our editorial team.

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