• Damage from the larkspur mirid deters cattle grazing of larkspur

      Ralphs, M. H.; Jones, W. A.; Pfister, J. A. (Society for Range Management, 1997-07-01)
      The larkspur mirid (Hopplomachus affiguratus) is host specific to tall larkspur (Delphinium barbeyi Huth). These insects suck cell solubles from leaves and reproductive racemes, causing flowers to abort and leaves to desiccate. Cattle generally prefer lark spur flowering heads, pods, and leaves, and are frequently poisoned. The objective of this experiment was to determine if cattle would avoid eating mirid-damaged larkspur. A 2-choice cafeteria feeding trial was conducted to determine preference for mirid-damaged and undamaged larkspur. Four cows were offered a choice of the 2 types of larkspur in 10 min. feeding trials in the morning and evening for 5 days. Cows preferred the undamaged larkspur plants (0.8 kg +/- 0.08, SE) over mirid-damaged plants (0.1 kg +/- 0.03, SE). The cows were then turned out into a larkspur-infested pasture and consumption of mirid-damaged and undamaged larkspur was quantified by bite count. The cows did not select any mirid-damaged larkspur. Consumption of undamaged larkspur peaked at 17% of bites on the second day of the grazing trial, then declined as mirid damage on the plants increased. If the density of mirids on larkspur is sufficiently high to damage most of the leaves and flowering racemes, grazing by cattle may be deterred, and subsequent poisoning avoided.
    • Date and plant community effects on elk sedge forage quality

      Clark, P. E. (Society for Range Management, 2003-01-01)
      Elk sedge (Carex geyeri Boott) is one of the most important livestock and big game forages in many areas of the western U.S. It is one of the most prominent forage species in the diets of cattle and elk utilizing forested rangelands. Despite its acknowledged ecological and economical importance, very little is known about the factors influencing the forage quality of elk sedge. Effects of sampling date, plant community, and their interaction on the neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber, and crude protein levels of elk sedge are reported for samples collected at the Starkey Experimental Forest and Range and the Bridge Creek Wildlife Management Area, both in northeastern Oregon, during January, April, July, and October of 1997 and 1998. Neutral detergent fiber levels in elk sedge were lowest in mid-October (average = 71.3%) and highest in mid-July (average = 76.1%). Acid detergent fiber was lowest in elk sedge collected in mid-October (average = 37.3%) and highest in mid-July (average = 39.0%) and mid-January (average = 39.2%). Elk sedge from the Douglas-fir/ninebark community was lowest in acid detergent fiber (average= 38.1%). Crude protein was highest (average = 8.0%) in mid-July elk sedge samples and lowest (average = 5.7%) in mid-January samples. Elk sedge from the ponderosa pine/fescue community was lowest in crude protein (average = 5.9%). All forage quality parameters exhibited variability between years. Although sampling date and plant community effects were detected, the forage quality of elk sedge appeared relatively stable compared to other native forages. A more intensive spring sampling campaign is needed to characterize the relationship between elk sedge phenology and forage quality dynamics.
    • Dating Past Fires in Curlleaf Mountain-mahogany Communities

      Arno, S. F.; Wilson, A. E. (Society for Range Management, 1986-05-01)
      Fire history was investigated in 4 curlleaf mountain-mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius) communities containing scattered, old ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa). Dating cross- sections of fire scars from the pines, through counts of annual growth rings, allowed us to develop reasonably complete fire chronologies extending back to the 1700's. Mean fire intervals in these communities ranged from 13 to 22 years until the early 1900's, but lengthened considerably thereafter. Mountain-mahogany stems with well-developed basal scars (not necessarily caused by fire) were cross-sectioned and finely sanded to enhance the often obscure growth rings. Estimated dates of the mountain-mahogany scars were compared to the pine-derived fire history. This evaluation suggests that where conifers of sufficient age are absent, careful interpretation of mountain-mahogany scars can be used to estimate fire history.
    • Day and night grazing by cattle in the Sahel

      Ayantunde, A. A.; Fernández-Rivera, S.; Hiernaux, P. H.; Van Keulen, H.; Udo, H. M. J. (Society for Range Management, 2002-03-01)
      The influence of night grazing on feeding behavior, nutrition and performance of cattle was studied. Twenty-four steers weighing 367 kg (SD = 76) grazed either from 0900 to 1900 (day grazers), 2100 to 0700 (night grazers) or 0900 to 1900 and 2400 to 0400 (day-and-night grazers) during 13 weeks. Four esophageally fistulated steers were used in a cross-over design to sample the diet selected during the day and at night. No differences (P > 0.05) were observed in the diet selected in the day or at night. As the season progressed the fiber components of the diet increased (P < 0.01) significantly while nitrogen and in sacco dry matter disappearance declined (P < 0.01). Actual grazing time (min day(-1), SE = 16) were 352, 376, and 476 for day, night, and day-and-night grazers, respectively. Day-and-night grazers had a higher intake of organic matter than either day or night grazers. Night grazers had the lowest forage intake and also the slowest rate of consumption. Steers that grazed in the night had the lowest water intake: 22.7 liter day(-1) (SE = 1.5) in week 4; 19.9 liter day(-1) (SE = 1.1) in week 8. Average weight changes (g day(-1), SE = 62) were -435, -548 and -239 for day, night, and day-and-night grazers, respectively. These results show that during the dry season, grazing exclusively in the night cannot substitute for day time grazing, but that it is rather complementary to the latter. Timing (day or night) of grazing did not affect diet selection but nocturnal grazing decreased the need for water.
    • Death Camas—Early Grazing Can Be Hazardous

      Panter, K. E.; James, L. F. (Society for Range Management, 1989-08-01)
    • Decision support software for estimating the economic efficiency of grazingland production

      Kreuter, U. P.; Rowan, R. C.; Conner, J. R.; Stuth, J. W.; Hamilton, W. T. (Society for Range Management, 1996-09-01)
      Decision support software has evolved in a number of disciplines to facilitate efficient allocation of resources. Such tools are especially useful where the response of complex systems to human activity are difficult to predict. Decision support systems empower managers to rapidly analyze the ecological and economic implications of alternative management strategies. The Grazingland Alternative Analysis Tool (GAAT), has been developed to estimate the economic efficiency of a wide range of grazingland production systems. Systems that can be analyzed, either individually or in combination, include livestock, wildlife, leased grazing, grain and forage crops, wood products and other nonforage crops. The planning horizon, discount rate, available forage, consumption by class of animal, herd management practices, product yields, product and input prices, and improvement investments must be specified by the user. The GAAT program calculates the resulting annual forage balance for all enterprises being analyzed and the net present value and internal rate of return for the specified management interventions during the planning period. Two examples are presented to demonstrate the flexibility of GAAT for analyzing the economic efficiency of grazingland production systems. The first example analyzes the use of prescribed burning to control Ashe juniper (Juniper ashei Buckholz) and the second determines the economic effect of changing a dairy from a concentrate-dependent to a grazing-dependent system.
    • Decision-analysis approach to brush management planning: ramifications for integrated range resources management

      Scifres, C. J. (Society for Range Management, 1987-11-01)
      Simulation, optimization, and other modeling paradigms for systems ecology and economics have not been broadly applied to development of models for range resource management in real-world settings. The lag in emergence of applicable management models may be attributed to the lack of a conceptual context for their application. Recent appreciation of the decision-analysis approach to natural resource management and the general availability of high-speed computing capabilities have provided viable bases for using increasingly sophisticated analytical tools to solve management problems. Decision models may be used to generate proforma contrasts of selected management alternatives for multi-enterprise firms and implementation protocols for the selected management program(s). Such models, operating from a computer-managed information base, become decision-support systems (DSS) for approaching specific management problems; Integrated Brush Management Systems (IBMS) is one example. These DSS are proposed at the first step toward creating comprehensive decision-making models for total resource management (i.e. Integrated Range Resource Management or Integrated Range Resource Analysis). The next generation of models will link qualitative information and rules-of-thumb (heuristics) with hard (experimentally derived) data. These knowledge-based or expert systems, one facet of the growing field of artificial intelligence, hold great promise as vehicles for achieving Integrated Range Resource management. Bringing Integrated Range Resource Management Systems to fruition can be expedited by interdisciplinary research and educational programs for potential user groups.
    • Decline of Prairie Dog Towns in Southwestern North Dakota

      Bishop, N. G.; Culbertson, J. L. (Society for Range Management, 1976-05-01)
      Aerial photographs for 1939 to 1972 were examined to evaluate the impact of rodent control programs and land use practices on prairie dog towns on a portion of the Little Missouri National Grasslands. Colonies were measured for three periods during the 33-year span and showed an 89% decline in number and a 93% decline in acreage. Average town size was not significantly affected during the decline and was not significantly different on federal land compared to private or state land. Colonies were largely eliminated on the best agricultural bottom lands but appeared to be more persistent near the undisturbed colonies in Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park. Reported sightings indicate that some black-footed ferrets have probably survived in the area. The new perspective has resulted in improved management for the two species.
    • Decline of Quaking Aspen in the Interior West – Examples from Utah

      Bartos, Dale L.; Campbell, Robert B. (Society for Range Management, 1998-02-01)
    • Declining forage availability effects on utilization and community selection by cattle

      Smith, M. A.; Rodgers, J. D.; Dodd, J. L.; Skinner, Q. D. (Society for Range Management, 1992-07-01)
      Land managers of salt desert shrub and sagebrush steppe vegetation have concerns regarding appropriate stocking rates in summer for ephemeral stream riparian zones because of elevated levels of use on woody vegetation. We determined utilization levels of forage species over time as a fixed animal density decreased available forage as a means of approximating the stocking rate suitable for an area and identifying plant species for monitoring. Trend in abundance of important plant species will ultimately determine appropriate stocking rate in a particular management situation. Forage utilization by cattle during mid-summer for 2 successive years was measured weekly for 3 weeks in streamside (channel and floodplain) and adjacent upland (terrace and saline upland) vegetation communities along the ephemeral stream. Measures were also made of crude protein and dry matter content of plant species. Plant communities used by cattle were also recorded. Utilization of streamside and terrace vegetation declined markedly over the 3 weeks, while utilization of forage in saline uplands was lower than in other areas and did not decline over weeks of study. More cattle selected streamside and terrace areas with the most succulent forages than saline uplands with less succulent forages. Woody plants in channel areas, cottonwood (Populus deltoides Bartr. ex Marsh.) particularly, were higher in protein, more succulent, and more severely grazed than other species. Management of cottonwood probably limits the stocking rate used in these communities. Declines in weekly utilization of forages after the first week indicated intake may have been declining. If so, lower levels of utilization may be needed to maintain animal performance. Maintenance of cottonwoods and animal performance considerations may dictate a lower stocking rate than achieved in this midsummer study.
    • Decomposition of blue grama and rough fescue roots in prairie soils

      Dormaar, J. F.; Willms, W. D. (Society for Range Management, 1993-05-01)
      The mass of grass roots of blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis (HBK.) Lag. ex Steud) and rough fescue (Festuca campestris Rydb.) to a depth of 13 cm is similar but the carbon contents of their respective soils are quite different. The objective of the present study was to determine some of the physical and chemical changes of blue grama and rough fescue root masses during decomposition under both Brown (Mixed Prairie) and Black Chernozemic (Fescue Prairie) soil-forming conditions. Roots of each species in fine-mesh nylon bags were buried in the Ah horizon of both a Brown and a Black Chernozemic soil. Sixteen collections were made between November 1987 and June 1989 to determine diminution, loss of dry matter and gross energy, and changes in the concentration of carbon, nitrogen, methoxyl groups, alkaline-soluble organic acids and phenols, structural and nonstructural carbohydrates, lignin, and monosaccharides. Differences in substrate quality were only partially responsible for the increased decomposition of root mass in the Brown Chernozemic soil-forming environment. Comminution of root mass was significantly greater under the Mixed Prairie than under the Fescue Prairie conditions for both species. The nitrogen content of blue grama roots increased (from 1.17 to 1.56%) while that of rough fescue decreased (from 1.53 to 1.26%) significantly over the duration of the experiments at both sites. Methoxyl group content and energy levels were not useful parameters. Organic acid, phenols, and nonstructural carbohydrate contents decreased with time. Lignin concentration displayed a significant upward trend for both species (from 232 to 280 for blue grama and for 205 to 247 mg/g for rough fescue) in the Black Chernozemic soil only.
    • Decomposition of Common Curlymesquite Herbage on Edwards Plateau Rangeland, Texas

      George, J. F.; Smeins, F. E. (Society for Range Management, 1982-01-01)
      Decomposition of common curlymesquite herbage from a continuously, heavily grazed pasture and one pasture of a 4-pasture deferred rotation grazing system was investigated on the Edwards Plateau of Texas. Decomposition of herbage in litterbags was similar for both pastures. Approximately 40% of the original herbage weight was lost during the 345-day study. Average decomposition rate was 2.19 mg/g/day. Rate of decomposition during a 238-day period was significantly related to antecedent potential evaporation and precipitation since the preceding collection date and cumulative time. Percentage nitrogen and percentage ash content increased while percentage carbon and carbon/nitrogen ratio decreased over time in the decomposing herbage.
    • Decomposition of Native Herbage and Filter Paper at Five Meadow Sites in Sequoia National Park, California

      Ratliff, R. D. (Society for Range Management, 1980-07-01)
      Rate of herbage decomposition may be related to maintenance and improvement of mountain meadows and may provide a guide to proper use. Weight losses from buried and unburied native herbage and filter paper were studied at five meadows in Sequoia National Park from 1972-1975. Aim of the study was to find a suitable technique for estimating and to obtain some estimates of decomposition of rates in meadows. Native herbage samples gave more precise measures of decomposition than did filter paper, and use of unburied herbage samples was accepted as the most preferred technique. Ranges of yearly weight losses and standard statistical errors for that technique were: losses, from 49% to 78% and errors, from 1.4% to 5.8%.
    • Decreasing Forage Allowance Can Force Cattle to Graze Broom Snakeweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae) as a Potential Biological Control

      Ralphs, Michael H.; Wiedmeier, Randy D.; Banks, Jeffrey E. (Society for Range Management, 2007-09-01)
      Broom snakeweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae [Pursh] Britt. Rusby) increases and dominates rangelands following disturbances such as overgrazing, fire, and drought. However, if cattle can be forced to graze snakeweed, they can be used as a biological tool to control it. Grazing trials were conducted in May and August 2004, 2005, and 2006 on a crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum L.) seeding that had been invaded by broom snakeweed. Narrow grazing lanes were fenced with temporary electric fence and the cows were moved to a new lane each day. Forage allowance was limited to 24%-75% of the intake requirement. There were significant negative correlations (P < 0.05) between forage allowance and snakeweed utilization, suggesting it was the main factor driving snakeweed consumption. In the 2004 experiment, 7 cows in low body condition (4.6 body condition score, BCS) and 7 cows in high body condition (6.8 BCS) were grazed in separate lanes. The low body condition group grazed more snakeweed in the evening grazing period (26% of bites) than the high body condition group (20% of bites, P = 0.03). In the 2005 experiment, one group (6 cows) received a protein/energy supplement high in bypass amino acids required for detoxification of terpenes; the second group received no supplement. There was no difference in snakeweed consumption between the supplement groups (P = 0.63). The major difference in diets in both years occurred in grazing periods during the day. Cows grazed perennial bunchgrasses first, then turned to cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.), and grazed snakeweed only when all other forage was depleted (20% of bites in the evening grazing periods). Cattle grazed 62%-95% of snakeweed plants and utilized 50%-85% of snakeweed biomass. Cattle can be forced to graze snakeweed by confining them to small areas and limiting alternative forage. Grazing reduced the snakeweed population. 
    • Decreasing Precipitation Variability Does Not Elicit Major Aboveground Biomass or Plant Diversity Responses in a Mesic Rangeland

      Derner, Justin D.; Hickman, Karen R.; Polley, Wayne (Society for Range Management, 2011-07-01)
      Inter- (between years) and intra- (within year) annual variability of precipitation are high on rangelands. We used replicated rainout shelters in a southern tallgrass prairie ecosystem to decrease precipitation variability for 3 yr (1999-2001). We removed interannual variability in total precipitation plus either 1) interannual variability in the seasonal distribution of precipitation (seasonal distribution) or 2) all additional variability in precipitation, including within-year differences in precipitation (even distribution). Our objective was to determine if decreasing variability in precipitation elicits aboveground biomass and plant diversity responses. Aboveground biomass was harvested in June (peak biomass) and December (end of growing season). Plant species diversity, richness, and evenness were determined each June. Reducing precipitation variability had limited effects on total aboveground biomass, grass and forb biomass, and biomass of key species across the 3 yr of investigation. Species richness, species diversity, species evenness, and functional group richness and diversity all were similar across the precipitation treatments across years. Total aboveground biomass and biomass of the dominant C4 perennial grasses little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) and Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans) generally were not responsive to the precipitation treatments. However, one species-specific response did occur with the annual forb firewheel (Gaillardia pulchella Foug.) displaying consistent increases in biomass in the seasonal distribution precipitation treatment across all 3 yr. This suggests that increased predictability of precipitation at a given stage of this species’s growth can elicit changes in productivity of a single species that are not manifest at the community level due to constraints of the dominant species. These findings indicate that the southern tallgrass prairie ecosystem is adaptable to changes in precipitation to result in relatively stable production that facilitates simpler predictions in response to altered precipitation regimes.
    • Deep Planting Long-Stem Nursery Stock: An Innovative Method to Restore Riparian Vegetation in the Arid Southwest

      Dreesen, David R.; Fenchel, Gregory A. (Society for Range Management, 2014-04-01)
      On the Ground • The successful establishment of riparian shrubs in the arid Southwest has been accomplished by using “deep planting” methods in riparian areas that lack overbank flooding. • This methodology involves the immediate exploitation of capillary fringe moisture by the existing root system of long-stem nursery stock and the deep burial of native shrub root crowns. • The methodology precludes or drastically reduces the need to apply irrigation water in arid and semi-arid environments in order to establish riparian shrubs and trees by deep planting long-stem native nursery stock.
    • Deeper into Prairie

      Gayton, Don (Society for Range Management, 1988-10-01)
    • Deer and Cattle Diets on Summer Range in British Columbia

      Willms, W.; McLean, A.; Tucker, R.; Ritcey, R. (Society for Range Management, 1980-01-01)
      A study was made on the forage selection of mule deer and cattle on summer range in the Douglasfir zone. Both ungulates showed a high preference for clover, willow, and fireweed. When the availability of these forages was not limiting, the percent of diet overlap was high. As their availability declined, diet overlap decreased as both deer and cattle were forced into their individual food niche. For cattle the niche was grass, while for deer it was shrubs. The effect of declining availability of preferred forages on the dietary composition was less for deer than for cattle. Presumably the greater ability of deer to be selective permitted them to utilize those forages despite reduced availability.
    • Deer and Elk Use on Foothill Rangelands in Northeastern Oregon

      Miller, R. F.; Krueger, W. C.; Vavra, M. (Society for Range Management, 1981-05-01)
      Forested foothills of the Wallowa Mountains in northeastern Oregon provide spring and early summer range for deer and elk. Deer and elk use varied both between plant communities and seasonally within plant communities. Plant species composition of big game diets also varied with season. Bunchgrass and logged communities collectively occupying 57% of the land area studied, provided 90% of the big game diet during spring and early summer. Grasses made up 52% of the diet, forbs 38%, and browse 10%. Timothy and western goatsbeard were the two most important species consumed by big game. Pellet groups did not reliably estimate the value of various communities to deer and elk for forage use.
    • Deer Browsing and Browse Production of Fertilized American Elm Sprouts

      George, J. F.; Powell, J. (Society for Range Management, 1977-09-01)
      Small blocks of land producing dense stands of American elm trees along streamcourses in north-central Oklahoma were fertilized after clearcutting in late summer, late winter, and spring. Twig tips of first-year elm sprouts were readily browsed by deer after succulent cool season, herbaceous plants had matured in May. Browsing and browse production were greater on fertilized sprouts if trees were cut and fertilized in the previous late summer or current late spring seasons. Fertilization and lateral branching after browsing increased total twigs per sprout which, in turn, increased browse production and use as the season progressed. These results indicate browse production from unproductive stands of elm trees can be increased greatly by different habitat management practices.