• C3/C4 Production Shift on Seasonal Burns: Northern Mixed Prairie

      Steuter, A. A. (Society for Range Management, 1987-01-01)
      This study investigates the potential of fire to manipulate the balance of C3 (cool-season) and C4 (warm-season) herbage in 2 northern Mixed Prairie communities. The xeric high prairie community and mesic low prairie community were chosen to represent regional moisture extremes. Treatments included dormant spring burn, mid-summer burn, dormant fall burn, and untreated. The high prairie community appears to be a C3-dominant type. All 3 burn treatments increased the C3 herbage fraction relative to untreated sites. Total production, however, was unaffected by treatment. The C3/ C4 ratio of high prairie communities appears to be the result of long-term adaptation rather than short-term adjustments to fire or weather effects. Spring burning shifted low prairie communities towards C4 herbage relative to other treatments. This was due to an increase in C4 herbage (and total) rather than to a decrease in C3 herbage. The C3/C4 ratio of low prairie communities did appear to respond to short-term adjustments in moisture, temperature, and light caused by the spring burn. The response of low prairie C3/C4 ratios to mid-summer and dormant fall burns appeared to be related to phenological and indirect weather effects rather than to changes in site microclimate caused by the fires.
    • Caatinga vegetation dynamics under various grazing intensities by steers in the semi-arid Northeast, Brazil

      de Albuquerque, S. G. (Society for Range Management, 1999-05-01)
      The effects of cattle grazing were evaluated on range dynamics of the Caatinga which is a deciduous dry woodland, covering most of the semi-arid Brazilian Northeast. Three stocking rates (SR) were studied (heavy, 1 steer 6.7 ha(-1); moderate 1 steer 10 ha(-1); light, 1 steer 13.3 ha(-1)), in addition to an ungrazed exclosure (zero stocking). In the first phase (1978-81) each stocking rate was tested under continuous and deferred grazing. In the second phase (1981-84), deferred grazing was eliminated, so that pastures became replications of continuous grazing. Six steers per pasture were used, and pasture size was used to vary stocking rate. There was no effect of stocking rate or grazing system period on the frequency of the herbaceous species. They were, however, influenced by rainfall in the period, and could be divided into 3 groups. Sixteen species increased with increasing rainfall during the last months of the rainy season, and reached the highest frequency in 1984. Eleven species also increased with increasing rainfall but reached the highest frequency in 1983. Rainfall had no effect on the frequency of 2 important species. Herissantia crispa (L.) Briz. and Selaginella convoluta Spring. Death rate of 5 shrubs (Lippia microphylla Cham., Croton rhamnifolius (Kunth em.) Mull. Arg. Calliandra depauperata Benth. Cordia leucocephala Moric., and Bauhinia cheilantha (Bong.) Steud.) decreased with decreasing stocking rate, 11.7, 9.3, 7.7. and 4.5%, respectively on heavy, moderate, light, and zero stocking. Death rates were higher in easily broken shrub species. L. microphylla and C. leucocephala. Stocking rate also influenced the height growth rate of the tagged shrubs, being respectively -2.7 and 9.8% for heavy and zero stocking. Mean density of shrubs and trees, determined by the Point-Centered Quarter Method, was respectively 21,109, and 447 plants ha(-1) in 1982, and 13,230 and 401 plants in 1984; the main cause of the high shrub death (37.3%) was probably the 1982 drought. Density was not affected by stocking rate. Considering the 7 experimental areas separately, there was no regression between 1982 and 1984 shrub densities. There was, however, regression between 1982 density and the difference between 1982 and 1984 densities.
    • Calculating Grazing Intensity for Maximum Profit on Ponderosa Pine Range in Northern Arizona

      Pearson, H. A. (Society for Range Management, 1973-07-01)
      The profit formula is based on forage production, digestibility and utilization, animal weight and daily gain, costs per animal day, and beef prices. Rangeland producing 500-1,000 lb forage per acre would produce maximum profit with moderate utilization.
    • Calculating Yearlong Carrying Capacity: An Algebraic Approach

      Workman, J. P.; MacPherson, D. W. (Society for Range Management, 1973-07-01)
      Estimates of yearlong carrying capacity obtained by three different techniques are compared in terms of accuracy as measured by actual carrying capacity of a northern Utah cattle ranch. A new "algebraic" approach appears superior to two established techniques currently in use.
    • Calibrating fecal NIRS equations for predicting botanical composition of diets

      Walker, J. W.; McCoy, S. D.; Launchbaugh, K. L.; Fraker, M. J.; Powell, J. (Society for Range Management, 2002-07-01)
      The objectives of this study were to investigate the use of near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) of fecal samples for predicting the percentage of mountain big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt. ssp. vaseyana (Rydb) Beetle) in sheep diets and to quantify the limitations of using NIRS of fecal samples to predict diet composition. Fecal material from a sheep feeding trial with known levels of sagebrush and several background forages was used to develop fecal NIRS calibration equations validated with fecal material from 2 other sheep feeding trials with known levels of sagebrush in the diets. The 1996 calibration trial varied the level of sagebrush, alfalfa, and grass hay in the diets. The 1998 trial compared frozen to air-dried sagebrush. The Wyoming trial was a metabolism study using frozen sagebrush. Trials used different levels of sagebrush varying from 0 to 30% of the diet in increments of 4 to 10 percentage points. Internal validation of the 1996 trial with a subset of the samples not used for calibration showed that when predicted samples are from the same population as the calibration samples, this procedure can accurately predict percent sagebrush (R2 = 0.96, SEP = 1.6). However, when predicted samples were from a different population than calibration samples, accuracy was much less, but precision was not affected greatly. Low accuracy was caused by a compression of the range of data in the predicted values compared to the reference values, and the predicted sagebrush levels in the diet should be considered to represent an interval scale of measurement. Modified partial least squares regression resulted in better calibration than stepwise regression, and calibration data sets with only high, low, and no sagebrush resulted in calibrations almost as good as data sets with several intermediate levels of sagebrush. High values of the H statistic were related to low precision but did not affect the accuracy of predictions. We believe the interval scale of measurement will contain sufficient information for the purpose of addressing many questions on rangelands.
    • California oak-woodland overstory species affect herbage understory: Management implications

      Ratliff, R. D.; Duncan, D. A.; Westfall, S. E. (Society for Range Management, 1991-07-01)
      Concerns for the future of California's oak-woodlands have intensified the need to better understand how different overstory species affect herbage standing crops and species frequencies. Data from over 8,000 plots harvested between 1961 and 1968 at the San Joaquin Experimental Range in the Sierra Nevada foothills of central California show that peak standing crops averaged 2,795 kg/ha in the open; 3,086 kg/ha under blue oak (Quercus douglasii); 1,840 kg/ha under interior live oak (Quercus wislizenii); 1,696 kg/ha under digger pine (Pinus sabiniana), and 1,917 kg/ha under buck brush (Ceanothus cuneatus). Overstory species affected standing crops differently on different range sites. On swales, standing crops were less under live oak and digger pine than in open areas. On open-rolling uplands, standing crops were less in the open and under live oak than under blue oak. On rocky-brush uplands, standing crops were less under all other overstory species than under blue oak. Data on species frequency suggest that herbage species of inter successional stages are more common under trees. The frequency of plant species varied with the species of overstory, and a diversity of overstory species may help to maintain adequate species diversity among understory species.
    • California's privately owned oak woodlands: Owners, use, and management

      Huntsinger, L.; Fortmann, L. P. (Society for Range Management, 1990-03-01)
      Social science research is an important tool for guiding development of education programs for owners of private rangelands. California oak woodland, a productive and extensive range type in California that is undergoing rapid changes in use and management, is the focus of this study. Results indicate that landowners with different property size differ demographically, make different uses of their land, and have distinctly different attitudes toward oak management and living in the oak woodland. Owners of smaller properties, on the increase in rural California, do not earn their living from their land, and will respond best to resource education programs that they believe will contribute to bettering the quality of life they seek by residing in the oak woodland. Owners of larger properties, the traditional clientele of advisory agencies, will more likely respond to programs that protect and enhance earnings from their property. Still, even a third of the owners of the largest (over 5,000 acres) properties earn the majority of their income from sources other than their lands. To be effective, range-oriented education programs and policies must track the changing composition of rural populations, and the changes in attitudes, needs, and interests that accompany demographic shifts.
    • Callie Bermudagrass Yield and Nutrient Uptake with Liquid and Solid N-P-K Fertilizers

      Mooso, G. D.; Jolley, V. D.; Nelson, S. D.; Webb, B. L. (Society for Range Management, 1984-11-01)
      A 2-year study to compare the effect of liquid and solid N-P-K (9:1:4) fertilizers on 'Callie' bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon var. aridus Harlan et de Wet) production and nutrient uptake was conducted in Central Florida. There was a positive linear relationship between yield and amount of N-P-K fertilizer applied from both sources. Forage N and K concentrations were positively affected and P levels were unaffected by increased fertility levels. Solid fertilizer increased dry matter production and resulted in higher relative uptake efficiencies of the applied N, P, and K than the liquid source. It also maintained higher N concentrations in the forage in some cuttings than the liquid, but neither P nor K concentrations were affected by the fertilizer source. Ammonia volatilization of the urea in the liquid source was probably the major reason for the lower yield, N concentration, and N uptake efficiency with that source. The trend for lower P and K uptake efficiencies by the liquid-treated forage appears to be associated with the lower yields obtained with this source.
    • Caloric Content of Rocky Mountain Subalpine and Alpine Plants

      Andersen, D. C.; Armitage, K. B. (Society for Range Management, 1976-07-01)
      Caloric equivalents for aboveground parts of Rocky Mountain subalpine and alpine herbaceous plants averaged 4,859 cal/g ash-free oven-dry weight. Ash content averaged 9.8% for 17 forbs. Both caloric content and ash content ranged higher than values for alpine species from New Hampshire.
    • Can Abundant Summer Precipitation Counter Losses in Herbage Production Caused by Spring Drought?

      Heitschmidt, R. K.; Vermeire, L. T. (Society for Range Management, 2006-07-01)
      Drought is an inherent trait of most rangelands and sound management necessitates managers address two fundamental questions when facing a drought situation. The first question is, ‘‘what is the probability that a useful amount of precipitation will be received over the period of concern?’’ and the second question is, ‘‘if it does rain, what will the impact be in terms of quantity and quality of herbage produced?’’ The objective of this study was to address the second question. Our hypothesis was that herbage growth response to above normal summer precipitation (i.e., 23 in July and August) would be limited in the northern Great Plains because of a general absence of productive warm-season species. Study plots were twelve 5 X 10-m non-weighing lysimeters. Treatments were: 1) simulated (i.e., rainout shelter imposed), severe spring drought (i.e., 1 May - 1 July) followed by ambient precipitation thereafter; 2) simulated, severe spring drought followed by ambient precipitation thereafter plus summer irrigation (i.e., July and August); 3) ambient precipitation only; and 4) ambient precipitation plus summer irrigation. Results indicated substantial herbage production can be expected in this region during summer when precipitation is well above average because of the positive growth response of blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis [H.B.K.] Lag. ex Griffiths), the dominant warm-season grass growing in this region. However, results also showed that level of production in the study situation (i.e., spring drought, wet summer) was only about 50% of that attained in a normal (i.e., wet spring/dry summer) year. Moreover, long-term weather data shows the probability of receiving 23 normal precipitation in both July and August (i.e., our irrigation treatments) is < 1%. Thus, although these rangelands possess the capacity to respond favorably to summer precipitation, the low probability of receiving substantial levels of summer precipitation ensures levels of ecological and economic risk remain high.  
    • Can Fertilizers Effectively Increase Our Range Land Production?

      Patterson, J. K.; Youngman, V. E. (Society for Range Management, 1960-09-01)
    • Can Imazapic and Seeding Be Applied Simultaneously to Rehabilitate Medusahead-Invaded Rangeland? Single vs. Multiple Entry

      Davies, K. W.; Madsen, M. D.; Nafus, A. M.; Boyd, C. S.; Johnson, D. D. (Society for Range Management, 2014-11)
      It has recently been proposed that the cost of rehabilitating medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae [L.] Nevski)–invaded rangelands may be reduced by concurrently seeding desired vegetation and applying the preemergent herbicide imazapic. However, the efficacy of this “single-entry” approach has been inconsistent, and it has not been compared to the multiple-entry approach where seeding is delayed 1 yr to decrease herbicide damage to nontarget seeded species. We evaluated single- and multiple-entry approaches in medusahead-invaded rangelands in southeastern Oregon with seeding for both approaches occurring in October 2011. Before seeding and applying herbicide, all plots were burned to improve medusahead control with imazapic and prepare the seedbed for drill seeding–introduced perennial bunchgrasses. Both approaches effectively controlled medusahead during the 2 yr postseeding. However, almost no seeded bunchgrasses established with the single-entry treatment (&lt; 0.5 individals · m-2), probably as a result of nontarget herbicide mortality. Perennial grass cover and density in the single-entry treatment did not differ from the untreated control. In contrast, the multiple-entry treatment had on average 6.5 seeded bunchgrasses · m-2 in the second year postseeding. Perennial grass (seeded and nonseed species) cover was eight times greater in the multiple-entry compared to the single-entry treatment by the second year postseeding. These results suggest that the multiple-entry approach has altered the community from annual-dominated to perennial grass–dominated, but the single-entry approach will likely be reinvaded and dominated medusahead without additional treatments because of a lack of perennial vegetation. © 2014 Society for Range Management
    • Can Imazapic Increase Native Species Abundance in Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) Invaded Native Plant Communities?

      Elseroad, Adrien C.; Rudd, Nathan T. (Society for Range Management, 2011-11-01)
      Native plant communities invaded by cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) are at risk of unnatural high intensity fires and conversion to cheatgrass monocultures. Management strategies that reduce cheatgrass abundance may potentially allow native species to expand and minimize further cheatgrass invasion. We tested whether the selective herbicide imazapic is effective in reducing cheatgrass and ‘‘releasing’’ native species in a semiarid grassland and shrub steppe in north-central Oregon. The experiment consisted of a completely randomized design with two treatments (sprayed with 70 g ai ha-1 of imazapic and unsprayed) and three replicates of each treatment applied to either 2.5 or 4 ha plots. We repeated this experiment in three different sites dominated by the following native species: 1) bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata [Pursh] A. Löve ssp. spicata) and needle and thread (Hesperostipa comata [Trin. Rupr.] Barkworth), 2) needle and thread and Sandberg bluegrass (Poa secunda J. Presl), and 3) big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.). Nested frequency of all plant species in 1-m2 quadrats was collected for 1 yr pretreatment and 4 yr posttreatment. In all three sites, cheatgrass frequencies were significantly lower in sprayed plots than unsprayed plots for 3-4 yr posttreatment (P<0.1). Other annual plant species were also impacted by imazapic, but the effects were highly variable by species and site. Only two native perennial species, hoary tansyaster (Machaeranthera canescens [Pursh] Gray) and big sagebrush, increased in sprayed plots, and increases occurred only at two sites. These results suggest that a short-term reduction in cheatgrass alone is not an effective strategy for increasing the abundance of most native perennial plant species.
    • Can Ranchers Adjust To Fluctuating Forage Production

      Skeete, G. M. (Society for Range Management, 1966-09-01)
      Experience in the Edwards Plateau area of West Texas since 1960 demonstrates that soundly planned range improvement and ranch management make it possible to operate profitably and to adjust to fluctuating forage supplies.
    • Can Regeneration of Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) be Restored in Declining Woodlands in Eastern Montana?

      Lesica, Peter (Society for Range Management, 2009-11-01)
      Green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marsh.) dominates many deciduous woodlands at the western margin of its range in eastern Montana. Evidence suggests that the majority of green ash woodlands are in degraded condition with declining tree canopies and ground layers dominated by exotic grasses. The dense sod formed by these perennial grasses was hypothesized to interfere with green ash regeneration from seed. The purpose of this study was to test potential methods of restoring green ash regeneration in these declining woodlands. The effects of preseeding grazing and herbicide treatment and postgermination fertilizer on the recruitment, survival, and growth of green ash seedlings at each of four study sites typical of declining green ash woodlands in southeastern Montana were assessed. Six green ash trees at each of three sites were cut to examine the relationship of age, size, and health to sprouting ability and growth. Herbicide application had a positive effect on green ash recruitment and survival of green ash seedlings in woodlands with a dense sod of exotic grasses; seedling survival after 3-4 yr was ca. 10 times greater in herbicide-treated plots compared to controls or grazed plots. Seedlings grew slowly although fertilizer had a small positive effect on growth at one site. All coppiced trees produced basal sprouts, but sprout growth was severely curtailed at two of the three sites by deer browsing, suggesting that coppicing could increase tree canopy cover by replacing weakened trees with new and more vigorous boles and branches, but only where browsing by cattle and deer is reduced. Maintaining eastern Montana green ash woodlands in good condition should be given priority because restoration will be difficult. 
    • Can Shallow Plowing and Harrowing Facilitate Restoration of Leymus chinensis Grassland? Results From a 24-Year Monitoring Program

      Baoyin, Taogetao; Yonghong Li, Frank (Society for Range Management, 2009-07-01)
      Long-term effects of two mechanical interventions, shallow plowing and harrowing, on degraded Leymus chinensis (Trin.) Tzvel. grassland were studied. Species composition and standing biomass of the grassland were monitored at peak biomass each year for 24 yr after application of these two measures, together with grassland in natural recovery and that under public grazing. Results showed a high resilience of degraded grassland, which recovered naturally after excluding grazing animals to a structure similar to the intact L. chinensis community. In comparison with natural recovery, harrowing facilitated restoration of L. chinensis population and community structure and improved grassland production. Shallow plowing accelerated recovery of L. chinensis population to a larger extent than harrowing and led to a flourish of annual species and improvement of herbage production in the years following its application. But the production improvement was unsustainable and was associated with a decrease in grassland species richness and community complexity. We conclude that the best measure for restoring degraded grassland depends on the restoration objectives and severity of grassland degradation. Harrowing is a feasible technique to assist restoration of the degraded grassland. In contrast, shallow plowing is not appropriate for ecological restoration, but may be applied for quick restoration of herbage production. 
    • Can Solid Matrix Priming With GA3 Break Seed Dormancy in Eastern Gamagrass?

      Rogis, C.; Gibson, L. R.; Knapp, A. D.; Horton, R. (Society for Range Management, 2004-11-01)
      Development of methods for breaking seed dormancy in eastern gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides, L.) could increase its use. Solid matrix priming, the controlled hydration of seed in a system of solid carrier and water, has been used with some success to enhance germination in warm-season grasses. gibberellic acid (ga3), a known promoter of eastern gamagrass germination, can be added to solid matrix priming systems. In this study, systems were evaluated for conditioning eastern gamagrass seeds using the solid carriers Agro-Lig, MicroCel E, and Vermiculite #5. GA3 was added in 0.01 M concentration solutions to systems with water potentials of -0.4 and -0.6 MPa in Agro-Lig and -0.2 and -0.4 in MicroCel E and Vermiculite #5 and compared with systems with deionized water. Priming seed with GA3 increased germination to 18% compared with 13% without GA3. MicroCel E and Vermiculite #5 were suitable materials for controlled hydration of eastern gamagrass seed. Germination was only 11% in Agro-Lig compared with 16%-19% for MicroCel E and Vermiculite #5. Priming with GA3 does not appear to be as successful at breaking seed dormancy as cold, wet stratification.
    • Can spring cattle grazing among young bitterbrush stimulate shrub growth?

      Ganskopp, Dave; Svejcar, Tony; Taylor, Fred; Farstvedt, Jerry (Society for Range Management, 2004-03-01)
      Due to its palatability and forage quality, antelope bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata Pursh DC) is a desirable shrub across western US rangelands. Because little information is available regarding grazing management of young bitterbrush, a study was undertaken to explore stocking pressure thresholds and quantify effects of light and heavy spring cattle grazing on shrub growth. Rates of browsing and trampling and forage availability were monitored over 3 years in southeast Oregon. Across years, 29% of bitterbrush endured trampling in light-grazing treatments, and 55% experienced trampling under heavy grazing. Linear models relating time and cattle density successfully explained (r2 = 0.84-0.86) probabilities of bitterbrush being trampled. Forage utilization averaged 32% and 59% in lightly and heavily grazed units, and 14 and 62% of bitterbrush were browsed in lightly and heavily-grazed pastures, respectively. Cattle began browsing when herbaceous standing crop declined to 100-150 kg ha-1. Browsing in heavily-grazed pastures reduced diameters of bitterbrush by 4.5 to 9.5 cm in 1998 and 1999, but shrub height was unaffected. Lightly-grazed stands exhibited a 50% greater increase in bitterbrush diameter, 30% greater height increment, and 8% longer twigs than shrubs in ungrazed pastures. At the end of the 1997 and 1998 growing seasons, bitterbrush in heavily-grazed pastures were 11 cm greater in diameter than ungrazed controls and equal to shrubs in lightly-grazed pastures. To stimulate bitterbrush growth, young stands can be lightly-grazed (30 to 40% utilization of herbaceous forage) by cattle when bitterbrush is flowering and accompanying grasses are in vegetative to late-boot stages of phenology.
    • Canada's Rangeland Resource—A Look Ahead

      Johnston, A. (Society for Range Management, 1972-09-01)
      Canada's cattle population is expected to increase from its present 13.7 million head to about 16.5 million head by 1980. About 5.3 million acres of additional pasture will be required to feed the extra cattle and most of it will come from land presently in grain. Range managers will be more concerned than formerly with cultivated pastures and hayland and the integration of these with native range.
    • Canadian bluejoint response to heavy grazing

      Collins, W. B.; Becker, E. F.; Collins, A. B. (Society for Range Management, 2001-05-01)
      A disclimax stand of Canadian bluejoint (Calamagrostis canadensis (Michx.) Beauv.) was heavily grazed by cattle and horses for 4 years to weaken the grass's competition with hardwoods important as browse and cover to wildlife. Stocking at 0.084 ha AUM(-1) resulted in uniform utilization of bluejoint and maintenance of early phenology through the growing season. Etiolated bluejoint declined about 90%, but grass production increased 10 to 15%, as fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium L.), a principal herbaceous component of the stand, decreased in response to trampling. Rhizomes of heavily grazed bluejoint had lower total nonstructural carbohydrates (TNC) (p = 0.0127), lower weight (g cm(-1) length) (p = 0.05), and reduced biomass (g cm(-3) of soil) (p = 0.05). Shoots of grazed bluejoint maintained higher nitrogen (p = 0.0001) and higher digestibility (IVDMD) (p = 0.0017) than bluejoint that was never grazed. This enabled heavily grazed bluejoint to retain good forage quality through the entire growing season, as opposed to ungrazed bluejoint, which became poor forage at the time of flowering during early July. Following one season of rest, rhizome TNC, shoot nitrogen, and IVDMD returned to levels of never grazed bluejoint. Seedhead production, seed production, seed weights, and seed viability of rested bluejoint were about the same as in ungrazed stands. On wet sites, heavy grazing does not adequately reduce the vigor of this grass.