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Original Research Article

Year: 2017 | Month: March | Volume: 4 | Issue: 3 | Pages: 6-13

Effect of Fire on Biomass Accumulation and Productivity of Herbaceous Plants in the Permanent Site, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Sokoto State, Nigeria

H. M. Maishanu1, M. M. Mainasara1,2, B. L. Aliero1., A. D. Isah1, S. E. Ojonugwa1

1Botany Unit, Biological Sciences Department, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, PMB 1046 Sokoto State. Nigeria.
2Faculty of Science, Technology and Human Development, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM), 86400 Parit Raja, Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia

Corresponding Author: M. M. Mainasara


The effects of fire on biomass structure and productivity of herbaceous plants of the Biological Sciences Garden, Permanent site, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto (UDUS) were investigated in this study. The experimental site was divided into plots A and B. Plot A was treated with fire (burnt) and plot B was protected from fire (unburnt). The plant samples were hand-clipped in five replicates from each plot after selection by random throws of 20cm2 quadrat and their wet and dry biomass determined using an electric weighing balance. It was found that above ground biomass of the herbaceous plants in the burnt plot were higher than that in the unburnt plot. Significant differences were observed between the plant biomass of the burnt plot and unburnt plot for the interval of June to October sampling period at P<0.05. The Net Primary Production (NPP) values of the above ground biomass in the burnt plot was found to be 0.0414kg/ha compared with 0.0271kg/ha in the unburnt plot (P<0.05). The study also shows grasses and forbs vegetation cover with total count of pin hits on the plant cover as 421 and 284 for burnt plot and the unburnt plots respectively. The study has demonstrated high biomass yield in the burnt plot, indicative of better pasture. With enlightenment and proper control, fire can be used especially in designed grazing areas to provide good nutrition to livestock.

Key words: Fire, Biomass, Accumulation, Productivity, Savanna, Herbaceous plants.

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