• Ecological Relationships between Pinyon-Juniper and True Mountain Mahogany Stands in the Uintah Basin, Utah

      Greenwood, L. R.; Brotherson, J. D. (Society for Range Management, 1978-05-01)
      Ecological relationships between true mountain mahogany and pinyon-juniper stands in the Uintah Basin, Utah, were measured to detect differences between the two community types. The mountain mahogany community is dominated by grasses and shrubs, while the pinyon-juniper vegetation consists primarily of trees and annual plants. Soil depth is greatest in the pinyon-juniper areas. Slickrock often covers as much as 80% of the mountain mahogany stands. Soil was sampled from beneath and between the mahogany shrubs and the pinyon and juniper trees. The pH of soil from beneath mahogany shrubs was significantly (P < 0.001) more alkaline than that from beneath pinyon and juniper trees. Soluble salt concentration was significantly (P < 0.05) less in soil from beneath mountain mahogany shrubs than in soil from between shrubs. A reverse situation occurred in the pinyon-juniper stands.
    • Ecological relationships between poisonous plants and rangeland condition: A Review

      Ralphs, M. H. (Society for Range Management, 2002-05-01)
      In the past, excessive numbers of livestock on western U.S. rangelands, reoccurring droughts, and lack of management resulted in retrogression of plant communities. Poisonous plants and other less palatable species increased with declining range condition and livestock were forced to eat these poisonous species because of a shortage of desirable forage, resulting in large, catastrophic losses. The level of management on most western rangelands has improved during the last 60 years, resulting in marked improvement in range condition; yet losses to poisonous plants still occur, though not as large and catastrophic as in the past. Some poisonous species are major components of the pristine, pre-European plant communities [tall larkspur (Delphinium barbeyi Huth), Veratrum californicum Durand, water hemlock (Cicuta douglasii (DC.)Coult. Rose), bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum (L.) Kuhn), chokecherry (Prunus virginiana L.), Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Lawson), and various oak species (Quercus spp.)]. Although populations of many poisonous seral increaser species have declined with better management, they are still components of plant communities and fluctuate with changing precipitation patterns [locoweed (Astragalus and Oxytropis spp.), lupine (Lupinus spp.), death camas (Zigadenus spp.), snakeweed (Gutierrezia spp.), threadleaf groundsel (Senecio longolobis Benth.), low larkspur (Delphinium nuttallianum Pritz.), timber milkvetch (Astragalus miser Dougl. ex Hook.), redstem peavine (A. emoryanus (Rydb.) Cory), western bitterweed (Hymenoxys odorata D.C.), orange sneezeweed (Helenium hoopesii Gray), twin leaf senna (Cassia roemeriana Schelle), and white snakeroot (Eupatorium rugosum Houtt)]. Many of the alien invader species are poisonous: [Halogeton glomeratus (Bieb.) C.A. Mey, St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum L.), poison hemlock (Conium maculatum L.), tansy ragwort (Senecio jacobaea L.), hounds tongue (Cynoglossum officinale L.), leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula L.), yellow star thistle (Centaurea solstitialis L.) and other knapweeds (Centaurea spp.)]. Poisoning occurs when livestock consume these plants because they are either relatively more palatable than the associated forage, or from management mistakes of running short of desirable forage.
    • Ecological Scale of Bird Community Response to Piñon-Juniper Removal

      Knick, S. T.; Hanser, S. E.; Leu, M. (Society for Range Management, 2014-09)
      Piñon (Pinus spp.) and juniper (Juniperus spp.) removal is a common management approach to restore sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) vegetation in areas experiencing woodland expansion. Because many management treatments are conducted to benefit sagebrush-obligate birds, we surveyed bird communities to assess treatment effectiveness in establishing sagebrush bird communities at study sites in Utah, Nevada, Idaho, and Oregon. Our analyses included data from 1 or 2 yr prior to prescribed fire or mechanical treatment and 3 to 5 yr posttreatment. We used detrended correspondence analysis to 1) identify primary patterns of bird communities surveyed from 2006 to 2011 at point transects, 2) estimate ecological scale of change needed to achieve treatment objectives from the relative dissimilarity of survey points to the ordination region delineating sagebrush bird communities, and 3) measure changes in pre- and posttreatment bird communities. Birds associated with sagebrush, woodlands, and ecotones were detected on our surveys; increased dissimilarity of survey points to the sagebrush bird community was characterized by a gradient of increased juniper and decreased sagebrush cover. Prescribed fires burned between 30% and 97% of our bird survey points. However, from 6% to 24% cover of piñon-juniper still remained posttreatment on the four treatment plots. We measured only slight changes in bird communities, which responded primarily to current vegetation rather than relative amount of change from pretreatment vegetation structure. Bird communities at survey points located at greater ecological scales from the sagebrush bird community changed least and will require more significant impact to achieve changes. Sagebrush bird communities were established at only two survey points, which were adjacent to a larger sagebrush landscape and following almost complete juniper removal by mechanical treatment. Our results indicate that management treatments that leave residual woodland cover and are not adjacent to extensive sagebrush stands are unlikely to establish sagebrush birds. © 2014 The Society for Range Management.
    • Ecology and management of kermes oak (Quercus coccifera L.) shrublands in Greece: A review

      Tsiouvaras, C. N. (Society for Range Management, 1987-11-01)
      Kermes oak (Quercus coccifera L.) shrublands occupy more than 0.4 million ha in Greece and are the typical browse rangelands for 4.5 million goats. Five "range types" of kermes oak were identified based on morphological differences. Clipping of kermes oak improves growth rate of twig length, increases the production of new twigs, and alters the nutritive value of browse. Kermes oak can withstand very heavy (100%) clipping of twigs for 2 consecutive years, yielding the highest growth rate and twig number. Browse production varies among different forms of kermes oak shrublands. The low form (0.5-0.8 m height) yielded the highest production (3,467 kg ha-1). Goat liveweight gain of tall form (2 m height) of kermes oak shrubland was 25 kg ha-1 yr-1; improved shrublands, by topping, produced double liveweight gain when their form was altered. Liveweight gain was almost quadrupled when kermes oak shrublands were converted to grasslands.
    • Ecology and management of sage-grouse and sage-grouse habitat

      Crawford, John A.; Olson, Rich A.; West, Neil E.; Mosley, Jeffrey C.; Schroeder, Michael A.; Whitson, Tom D.; Miller, Richard F.; Gregg, Michael A.; Boyd, Chad S. (Society for Range Management, 2004-01-01)
      Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus and C. minimus) historically inhabited much of the sagebrush-dominated habitat of North America. Today, sage-grouse populations are declining throughout most of their range. Population dynamics of sage-grouse are marked by strong cyclic behavior. Adult survival is high, but is offset by low juvenile survival, resulting in low productivity. Habitat for sage-grouse varies strongly by life-history stage. Critical habitat components include adequate canopy cover of tall grasses (≥ 18 cm) and medium height shrubs (40-80 cm) for nesting, abundant forbs and insects for brood rearing, and availability of herbaceous riparian species for late-growing season foraging. Fire ecology of sage-grouse habitat changed dramatically with European settlement. In high elevation sagebrush habitat, fire return intervals have increased (from 12-24 to > 50 years) resulting in invasion of conifers and a consequent loss of understory herbaceous and shrub canopy cover. In lower elevation sagebrush habitat, fire return intervals have decreased dramatically (from 50-100 to < 10 years) due to invasion by annual grasses, causing loss of perennial bunchgrasses and shrubs. Livestock grazing can have negative or positive impacts on sage-grouse habitat depending on the timing and intensity of grazing, and which habitat element is being considered. Early season light to moderate grazing can promote forb abundance/availability in both upland and riparian habitats. Heavier levels of utilization decrease herbaceous cover, and may promote invasion by undesirable species. At rates intended to produce high sagebrush kill, herbicide-based control of big sagebrush may result in decreased habitat quality for sage-grouse. Light applications of tebuthiuron (N-[5-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-1,3,4-thiadiazol-2-yl]-N,N′-dimethylurea) can decrease canopy cover of sagebrush and increase grass and forb production which may be locally important to nesting and foraging activities. The ability of resource managers to address sage-grouse habitat concerns at large scales is aided greatly by geomatics technology and advances in landscape ecology. These tools allow unprecedented linkage of habitat and population dynamics data over space and time and can be used to retroactively assess such relationships using archived imagery. The present sage-grouse decline is a complex issue that is likely associated with multiple causative factors. Solving management issues associated with the decline will require unprecedented cooperation among wildlife biology, range science, and other professional disciplines.
    • Ecology of a Southern Illinois Bluegrass-Broomsedge Pasture

      Voight, J. W. (Society for Range Management, 1959-07-01)
    • Ecology of California Grasslands

      Biswell, H. H. H. (Society for Range Management, 1956-01-01)
    • Ecology of curlleaf mahogany in western and central Nevada: community and population structure

      Schultz, B. W.; Tueller, P. T.; Tausch, R. J. (Society for Range Management, 1990-01-01)
      Curlleaf mahogany is an important browse species for mule deer in the mountain brush zone of the Intermountain West. Past research on increasing browse availability of curlleaf mahogany has been inconclusive. This appeared to be directly related to limited understanding of community and population structure and dynamics. To obtain information on the community and population structure of curlleaf mahogany we sampled 25, 30 × 30-m macroplots in western and central Nevada. Data on mahogany density, maturity class structure, size, ages, and population growth rates were obtained. Understory cover and composition and percent rock, bare ground, and litter were also recorded. Mahogany density in central Nevada was one-half that in western Nevada, but mahogany cover and total cover were significantly (P lesser than or equal to 0.05) greater. Maturity class distribution in central Nevada was heavily skewed towards large mature mahogany, suggesting an older population dominated by fewer large individuals. This dominance resulted in significantly (P lesser than or equal to 0.05) lower population and relative growth rates and the necessity of canopy gaps for the survival of young mahogany. Range improvement of mature mahogany stands dominated by large individuals will require the removal of the mature and over mature individuals so that young forage producing plants are released from intraspecific competition.
    • Ecology of Germination and Flowering in the Weedy Winter Annual Grass Bromus japonicus

      Baskin, J. M.; Baskin, C. C. (Society for Range Management, 1981-09-01)
      From the time of seed maturity in late June and early July until December when temperatures drop to near freezing, habitat temperatures are within the range of those required for germination of seeds of the winter annual Bromus japonicus. However, a large proportion of the seeds in a given seed crop fail to germinate in the autumn of the year in which they are produced because they are not dispersed until winter. A high percentage of of the winter-dispersed seeds is induced into dormancy and must undergo a period of afterripening the following summer before germination can occur the next autumn. Thus, many of the plants that become established at a population site in autumn are from the previous year's seed crop. Plants overwinter in the field as "rosettes" and require long days for flowering. Nonvernalized plants exposed to natural short photoperiods of late autumn and winter flower under long days in spring, but plants flower much sooner if they are subjected to both low temperatures (vernalization) and short photoperiods during winter.
    • Economic analysis of using sheep to control leafy spurge

      Bangsund, D. A.; Nudell, D. J.; Sell, R. S.; Leistritz, F. L. (Society for Range Management, 2001-07-01)
      Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula L.), a widely established exotic, noxious, perennial weed, is a major threat to rangeland and wildland in the Upper Great Plains. A deterministic, bioeconomic model, incorporating relationships between sheep grazing and leafy spurge control, grass recovery, and forage consumption by cattle, and expected costs and returns from sheep enterprises was developed to evaluate the economic viability of using sheep to control leafy spurge. Various scenarios were developed depicting likely situations facing cattle ranches adding a sheep enterprise for leafy spurge control. Two levels of flock profitability, one based on a level of proficiency achieved by established sheep ranches and one substantially lower than typically achieved in the sheep industry, were combined with debt and no-debt to represent best- and worst-case scenarios, respectively. In the best-case situations, using sheep to control leafy spurge was economical in all of the scenarios examined. In the worst-case situations, the economics of using sheep to control leafy spurge were mixed across the scenarios examined. Leafy spurge control with poor flock proficiency, high fence expense, and unproductive rangeland generally was not economical. Situations with low fencing costs, moderately productive rangeland, and poor flock proficiency resulted in less economic loss than no treatment. Actual returns from leafy spurge control for most ranchers will likely fall between the extremes examined.
    • Economic and environmental impacts of pasture nutrient management

      Osei, E.; Gassman, P. W.; Hauck, L. M.; Neitsch, S.; Jones, R. D.; McNitt, J.; Jones, H. (Society for Range Management, 2003-05-01)
      Highly intensive stocking of dairy cattle on continuously grazed pasture coupled with liberal applications of commercial fertilizer can lead to increased losses of agricultural nutrients, which is a concern for water quality of receiving lakes and surface water resources. Integrated economic-environmental model simulations performed for the Lake Fork Reservoir Watershed in northeast Texas indicate that appropriate pasture nutrient management including stocking density adjustments and more efficient commercial fertilizer use could lead to significant reductions in nutrient losses. Soluble and organic P losses were predicted to decline by 54 and 13% relative to baseline conditions when manure P was assumed totally plant available (Low P scenario). The soluble and organic P loss reductions declined to 33 and 7% when only inorganic P was assumed plant available (High P scenario). Simulation of an N-based manure management plan resulted in the smallest predicted soluble and organic P loss reductions of 18 and 3%. Nitrogen loss predictions ranged from a 7% decline to a 1% increase for the 3 scenarios as compared to the baseline. The High P and Low P scenarios resulted in estimated aggregate profit reductions of 6 and 18% relative to the baseline. These profit declines occurred because the dairies had to acquire additional pasture land to accommodate the expanded area required for the P-based scenarios. In contrast, the N-based stocking density and nutrient management scenario resulted in an aggregate profit increase of 3% across all dairies. Variations in economic impacts were also predicted across farm sizes.
    • Economic and Social Impacts of Wildfires and Invasive Plants in American Deserts: Lessons From the Great Basin

      Brunson, Mark W.; Tanaka, John (Society for Range Management, 2011-09-01)
      Research on the impacts of wildfire and invasive plants in rangelands has focused on biophysical rather than human dimensions of these environmental processes. We offer a synthetic perspective on economic and social aspects of wildfire and invasive plants in American deserts, focusing on the Great Basin because greater research attention has been given to the effects of cheatgrass expansion than to other desert wildfire/invasion cycles. We focus first on impacts at the level of the individual decision-maker, then on impacts experienced at the human community or larger socio-political scales. Economic impacts of wildfire differ from those of invasive grasses because although fire typically reduces forage availability and thus ranch profit opportunities, invasive grasses can also be used as a forage source and ranchers have adapted their grazing systems to take advantage of that circumstance. To reduce the threat of increased ranch bankruptcies, strategies are needed that can increase access to alternative early-season forage sources and/or promote diversification of ranch income streams by capturing value from ranch ecosystem services other than forage. The growth of low-density, exurban subdivisions in Western deserts influences not only the pattern and frequency of wildfire and plant invasions but also affects prevailing public opinion toward potential management options, and thereby the capacity of land management agencies to use those options. Outreach efforts can influence public opinion, but must be rooted in new knowledge about multiple impacts of invasion and increased wildfire in American deserts./La investigación se ha centrado en el impacto biofísico del los incendios naturales y las plantas invasoras en los pastizales, en lugar de la dimensión humana en esos procesos medioambientales. Ofrecemos una perspectiva sintética sobre aspectos económicos y sociales de los incendios naturales y las plantas invasoras en los desiertos de América, enfocándonos a la región de la Grean Basin debido a la importancia de las investigaciones sobre el efecto de la expansión del zacate cheatgrass que a otros incendios/ciclos de invasión en los otros desiertos. Nos enfocamos primero, en los impactos a nivel individual de toma de decisiones después, en los impactos experimentados a nivel comunidades humanas o escalas socio-políticas mayores. El impacto económico de los incendios naturales difiere de aquel provocado por la invasión de pastos porque, mientras el fuego reduce la disponibilidad de forraje y la oportunidad de un ingreso en el rancho, pastos invasores también pueden ser usados como fuente de forraje y los rancheros han adaptado sus sistemas de pastoreo para sacar ventaja de esta circunstancia. Para reducir el riesgo de bancarrota en el rancho, se requieren estrategias que incrementen el acceso a fuentes de alternativas de forraje al principio de la temporada y/o promover la diversificación del ingreso del rancho valorando los servicios medioambientales de éste, en lugar de solo el forraje. El crecimiento de subdivisiones ex-urbanas de baja densidad en los desiertos del Oeste, influencian no solo el patrón y frecuencia de incendios naturales e invasión de plantas sino también, afectan la opinión pública actual hacia opciones potencial de manejo y como consecuencia la capacidad de las agencias que manejan las tierras de aplicar esas opiniones. Los esfuerzos para influenciar la opinión pública tienen que estar basados en conocimiento nuevo a cerca del impacto múltiple de las invasiones y aumento de incendios naturales en los desierto de América.
    • Economic Aspects of Beef Cattle Production in Southwest Alaska

      Boykin, C. C.; Lebrun, T. Q. (Society for Range Management, 1969-09-01)
      Although the demand of Alaska's increasing population for beef is largely met through inshipments, observations are made of the current and potential systems of range cattle production and marketing in Southwest Alaska necessary to capture a larger share of the State's beef market. While climate and vegetation in this area are favorable for large increases in beef cattle production, breakthroughs are needed in current systems of production, transportation, and marketing. Of particular importance is the need for rangeland development and management, an inexpensive source of feed concentrates, and the establishment of modern slaughtering and marketing facilities.
    • Economic Aspects of Livestock-Big Game Relationships

      Upchurch, M. L. (Society for Range Management, 1954-11-01)
    • Economic Aspects of Range Management

      Hochmuth, H. R. (Society for Range Management, 1952-03-01)
    • Economic comparison of aerial and ground ignition for rangeland prescribed fires

      Rasmussen, G. A.; McPherson, G. R.; Wright, H. A. (Society for Range Management, 1988-09-01)
      Average ignition costs per ha for aerial and ground ignited prescribed burns in redberry juniper (Juniperus pinchotii)-mixed grass communities were compared to determine the feasibility of using aerial ignition on rangelands. Aerial ignition techniques had greater total costs than ground ignition because of higher fixed costs. However, if greater than 4,000 ha could be burned, as a single or multiple unit, aerial ignition costs are $1.36/ha less than estimated ground ignition costs.
    • Economic Comparison of Honey Mesquite Control Methods with Special Reference to the Texas Rolling Plains

      Whitson, R. E.; Scifres, C. J. (Society for Range Management, 1981-09-01)
      Although economic responses to honey mesquite control varied considerably within and among resource regions in Texas, aerial applications of herbicides generally produced higher annual rates of return on the investment than did mechanical alternatives. Statewide, aerial applications of 2,4,5-T produced the greatest annual rates of return, averaging 15.7% for deep range sites and 11.0% for shallow range sites for projected livestock responses when cattle prices were estimated to average $0.97/kg ($44.00/cwt, 1978 dollars). Statewide, annual rates of return from aerial application of herbicides for honey mesquite control on shallow sites (statewide) varied from -8.3% to 18.1%, based on the $0.97/kg livestock price. When cattle prices were varied from $0.82/kg ($37.00/cwt) to $1.05/kg ($47.50/cwt), annual rates of return from aerial application of 2,4,5-T to deep sites on the Rolling Plains and Rolling Red Plains of Texas ranged from 9.6% to 17.9%. Chaining of honey mesquite on deep sites of the Rolling Plains and Rolling Red Plains produced rates of return from 7.1% to 12.5%. While the economic feasibility of herbicides in general was determined to be greater than that from the use of mechanical practices, rates of return from herbicides are more price sensitive than mechanical treatments. Over the 20-year planning period, tame pastures in the Rolling Plains produced the greastest accumulated net present value ($/ha) when the annual interest rate charged to the added investment was 5% or less. When the annual interest rate was 7% or 9%, the net present values of herbicide treatments exceeded those of the mechanical methods.
    • Economic consequences of alternative stocking rate adjustment tactics: a simulation approach

      Riechers, R. K.; Conner, J. R.; Heitschmidt, R. K. (Society for Range Management, 1989-03-01)
      An economic analysis of alternative stocking rate adjustment tactics is performed using a simulation model which emulates the annual decision-making situation of a rancher. The model includes variation in livestock prices and annual forage production. The manager's decisions are based on the availability of forage at 4 decision points in the year, the expected growth between the current decision point and the next, and the expected portion of the forage that is to be harvested through grazing. Livestock are bought and sold to adjust the stocking rate to equal the expected available forage for grazing. Results are obtained for 3 different stocking tactics based on 4 levels of expected forage production and livestock utilization set at the May decision point. The results reflect the differences in net returns over variable costs and the differences in annual cow investment capital associated with each tactic. The results indicate that the tactics using a maximum stocking rate of 3.6 ha/au offer the most reasonable compromise between mean and variance of net returns. The tactic with no limit on stocking rate provides the possibility of obtaining higher average annual net returns than tactics with limited stocking rates, but the variation in annual returns is considerably greater and the annual cow investments costs are higher.
    • Economic Criteria for Determining Optimum Use of Summer Range

      Hopkin, J. A. (Society for Range Management, 1954-07-01)