Dr Maeti George, National University of Lesotho.
Asian Journal of Science and Technology, Vol. 11, Issue, 04, pp.10863-10865, April, 2020
Wetlands in the highlands, especially palustrine wetlands, are renowned with supply of water of good quality to streams. However, with observed extreme variation in climatic conditions- notably surging high temperatures and decline in precipitation, these wetlands’ function is threatened. The objectives of this study were to observe changes in vegetation cover across the wetland within two seasons- summer and winter, and to monitor water release during each season, aligning this with climatic variation.
Methodology: Quadrants of 1m2 were utilized for estimation of vegetation species richness across the wetland while water level in the river was measured with the aid of staff installed in the stream.
The observation: Within the study period, during the return of the second summer, vegetation cover had not fully recovered, but rather lost as a result of a combination of factors overgrazing by animals that keep invading the wetland, and lack of rains in the summer season.
Recommendation: With the more expected dry summers, more stringent laws be applied regarding wise-use of these wetlands, and wetland management strategies be re-visited in order to curb their degradation.
Conclusion: Climate variations do play a role in degradation of palustrine wetlands, and best management practices would minimize their degradation, while observing their protection against uncontrolled anthropogenic activities.