Special Issue "Plant Diversity in Pastoral Rangelands"

A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Diversity".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 November 2023 | Viewed by 1092

Special Issue Editors

Agricultural Research Council – Animal Production, Biodiversity and Conservation Biology Department, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, South Africa
Interests: pastoralism; rangeland ecology
Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3), E-48940 Leioa, Spain
Interests: herbivore ecology; vegetation; pastoralist socio-ecosystems
International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Tunis 1004, Tunisia
Interests: landscape ecology; rangeland restoration; biodiversity monitoring & assessment
United States Fish and Wildlife Service International Affairs, Washington, DC, USA
Interests: conservation governance; invasive species; pastoralism; wildlife conservation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Rangelands occupy 54% of the Earth’s terrestrial surface and do not only comprise grasslands, but also include different landscapes such as savannahs, shrublands, wetlands, drylands, alpine vegetation, etc. Given this understanding, plant diversity within the different types of rangelands is expected to vary. Rangelands have been used and managed by pastoralists around the world for millennia, and many of these landscapes remain rich in plant diversity, vegetation types and habitats. Plants provide numerous ecosystem services to pastoralists, such as forage for livestock, medicinal plants, wild foods, construction materials and shade. The use of indigenous knowledge to monitor vegetation and pastoral practices, such as livestock mobility and herding, could have positive impacts on plant diversity. However, there are various pressures on rangelands from climate change and other forms of land use such as cultivation, that could negatively affect the plant diversity in pastoral rangelands. There are also case studies where poor land use planning, policies and management result in negative impacts on plant diversity. Considering these few factors and many others, it is evident that there are numerous drivers of plant diversity in rangelands. However, there is a lack of critical knowledge on the drivers and parameters of plant diversity and distribution contained in pastoral rangelands.

This Special Issue aims to elucidate the response mechanism of plant diversity and other vegetation parameters to pastoral activities in rangeland systems. Submitted articles should include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • The effects of land use and different grazing intensities on plant diversity and distribution.
  • The interactive effects of pastoral management, invasive plants and plant dynamics.
  • The response of vegetation to livestock management as a tool for restoration.
  • Plant diversity in agrosilvopastoral systems.
  • Vegetation characteristics along environmental gradients in pastoral systems.
  • Climate, pastoralism and plant diversity.
  • Modeling future plant diversity distributions in pastoral systems.
  • Indigenous knowledge on plant diversity.
  • The conservation of vegetation in pastoral rangelands.

Dr. Mogamat Igshaan Samuels
Dr. Pablo Manzano
Dr. Mounir Louhaichi
Dr. Matthew Luizza
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Diversity is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • pastoralism
  • rangelands
  • plant diversity
  • ecosystem services
  • vegetation
  • restoration
  • conservation
  • climate
  • soils
  • degradation
  • mobility

Published Papers (1 paper)

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A Phytogeographical Classification and Survey of the Indigenous Browse Flora of South Africa, Lesotho, and Eswatini
Diversity 2023, 15(7), 876; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15070876 - 22 Jul 2023
Viewed by 790
Rangelands in South Africa, Lesotho, and Eswatini contain a rich diversity of valuable fodder trees and shrubs. This research is the first attempt to document the regional diversity and distribution of these browse resources. Scientific publications, textbooks, databases, and published reports were accessed [...] Read more.
Rangelands in South Africa, Lesotho, and Eswatini contain a rich diversity of valuable fodder trees and shrubs. This research is the first attempt to document the regional diversity and distribution of these browse resources. Scientific publications, textbooks, databases, and published reports were accessed to compile a database of plant species that were recorded as utilised by ruminants and non-ruminants. Relevant forage attributes, such as functional traits as well as utilisation traits, were added to each species record. Thereafter, distribution records were extracted from the South African National Biodiversity Institute’s Botanical Database of South Africa and analysed with numerical techniques to establish phytogeographical patterns. A total of 613 plant species from 76 families have been recorded, which formed seven distinct phytochoria, termed the Central Arid, Eastern Subtropical, Highland Temperate, Moist Temperate, Northern Subtropical, Southern Temperate, and Western Arid browse-choria. Key families and species, as well as functional and utilisation traits, are discussed, focusing on key species present in the browse-choria. This browse database, together with the earlier compiled Leguminosae and Poaceae databases, will be used to prioritise indigenous southern African plant species/infraspecific taxa to be collected for the conservation of genetic resources and future evaluations for potential development as forage crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Diversity in Pastoral Rangelands)
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