Main plant species grazed by goats in two types of rangelands in Algeria: mountainous vs. Saharan
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The objective of this study is to compare the pasture use and to evaluate the diversity of plant species grazed by goats in two different ecosystems: mountainous vs. Saharan range. For this, a questionnaire survey was conducted among 100 farmers in Tizi-Ouzou (mountainous region) and another 100 in Bechar (Saharan region) during the same period (15 March-17 May). In Tizi-Ouzou, the goat’s diet is almost (98%) based on grazing + supplement to the trough while in Bechar this practice is noted in 85% of the farms. In Tizi-Ouzou, this grazing takes place largely on the forest rangelands, maquis, natural meadows and fallows while in Bechar the goats graze especially in the ergs, regs and beds of Wadis. The main grazed plant species in the Tizi-Ouzou region are: Rosa sempervirens, Phillyrea angustifolia, Myrtus communis, Asphodelus microcarpus, Sinapis arvensis, Hedysarum flexuosum, Pistacia lentiscus, Calycotum spinosa or Cytisus spinosus, Rubus fruticosus, Inula viscosa or Dittrichia viscosa, Erica arborea and Lavandula stoechas. In Bechar, on the other hand, goats graze mainly: Cotula cinerea, Panicum turgidum, Stipagrostis pungens, Diplotaxis harra, Euphorbia guyoniana, Atriplex halimus, Tamarix gallica, Suaeda mollis, Artemisia herba alba, Zizyphus lotus, Helianthemum lippii, Retama retam, Moltkiopsis ciliata, Erodium triangulare. Pasture is almost the goat's diet in both regions. It should be noted the rich biodiversity of grazing species in the Saharan range which is at the same level or even better than the mountainous region in this study.