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Keywords:

  • erosion;
  • grazing;
  • logistic equations;
  • cellular automaton

Abstract

This paper argues for the replacement of the carrying capacity approach with an approach that emphasizes the stability conditions of the erosion–vegetation–grazing system. Using digital simulation, it is shown that the vegetation stability (temporal and spatial) is a function not only of rainfall, but also of the non-linear behaviour of the system through its interactions and through the characteristics of the vegetation in determining response to rainfall. A by-product is the emergence of erosional hot-spots (bare patches in the vegetation cover). Some implications for grazing management are briefly discussed. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.