EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Grasswise: monocultures or binary grass mixtures for African rangelands users?

Kevin Mganga1,2, Dickson Nyariki3, Luwieke Bosma4, Theophilus Kioko4, Nancy Kadenyi4, and Frank van Steenbergen4
Kevin Mganga et al.
  • 1Soils and Climate Change Group, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland (
  • 2Department of Agricultural Sciences, South Eastern Kenya University, Kitui, Kenya (
  • 3School of Business and Economics, Murangá University of Technology, Murangá, Kenya
  • 4MetaMeta Research, Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands

Reseeding, using drought tolerant indigenous perennial grasses is a viable option for combating rangeland degradation, provision of livestock feed and improving livelihoods of pastoral communities. However, debates on whether monocultures or binary grass mixtures establishments are best suited for African rangelands managers, are still ongoing. Our opinion and contribution to this debate is informed by results obtained from a combination of an ecological field based and socioeconomic study in a typical semi-arid rangeland in Kenya. Perennial forage grasses indigenous to African rangelands Cenchrus ciliaris (African foxtail grass), Enteropogon macrostachyus (Bush rye grass) and Eragrostis superba (Maasai love grass) were established as monocultures and binary grass mixtures. Binary grass mixtures demonstrated significantly higher rehabilitation indices for plant frequency, basal cover and plant densities and soil hydrological properties (infiltration capacity, runoff and sediment production). However, pastoral communities showed preference to monoculture than binary mixtures. This was attributed to their role in livestock production. In conclusion, considering the ecological and socio-economic value of African rangelands to pastoral communities, the choice of either monoculture or binary grass mixture establishment will primarily be informed by the principle objective(s) of the rangeland manager.    


How to cite: Mganga, K., Nyariki, D., Bosma, L., Kioko, T., Kadenyi, N., and van Steenbergen, F.: Grasswise: monocultures or binary grass mixtures for African rangelands users?, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-13275,, 2020