Stocking rate with sheep on the range of the Mediterranean subhumid zone of Chile. I. Final vegetation map

Carlos Ovalle M.1 y Julia Avendaño R.2

This final vegetation map is the first of a series of articles, in which the influence of different sheep stocking rates over the range productivity is analyzed. The study was carried out on a vegetational formation (range) called “espinal”, located near the Cauquenes city, Chile, with subhumid Mediterranean climate (695 mm of mean annual rainfall). The map gives an image of the vegetation at the end of an eight years experiment. The present analys of dominant species and vegetation cover, as compared to the map stablished in 1978, shows the degradant effect of high stocking rafes (3 to 4 ewes/ha), by increasing bare soil. Carduus pycnocephalus was the dominant species in more than 50% of the vegetational units under the 1 ewe/ha treatment Leontodon Ieyssen and Trisetum spicatum characterized the highest stocking rates (except 4 ewes/ha).

1 Estación Experimental Quilamapu (INIA), Casilla 426. Chillán, Chile.
2 Subestación Experimental Cauquenes (INIA), Casille 165, Cauquenes, Maule, Chile.