Plant cover and pastures of the Sahel.
The Sahel pastures were divided into 2 categories. In the N., plant cover was <30% and pastures were made up of tussocks of Panicum turgidum, Cyperus conglomeratus, Aristida longiflora and A. acutiflora. The S. Sahel has continuous plant cover in the wet season which may include Echinochloa colona or P. laetum. Echinochloa stagnina and E. pyramidalis utilize retreating wet season flood water. Aristida mutabilis/Eragrostis tremula pastures produced 590-600 kg DM/ha, and Schoenefeldia gracilis >1 t DM/ha annually in a normal yr. In the dry season, browse trees such as Balanites aegyptiaca or Maerua crassifolia with a leaf protein of 30 and 21%, resp. may be the only source of forage. Other deciduous forage trees included Commiphora africana, Grewia spp., Ziziphus spp., Cordia rothii, Combretum aculeatum and Acacia spp. Protein content of Acacia leaves was 20%. Many of these trees were unable to regenerate due to browsing damage. Annual seed production of these pastures was 50 kg/ha, of which 90% was wasted.<new para>ADDITIONAL ABSTRACT:<new para>The rangelands of the N. Sahel, dominated by Panicum turgidum, Cyperus conglomeratus, Aristida longiflora and A. acutiflora, respectively, those of the S. Sahel (wet-season, floodwater and dry herbage), browse plants of the S. Sahel, their utilization by domestic and wild animals and grass seed production and its utilization for human food, are described.