• Herbage productivity and ungulate use of northeastern Nevada mountain meadows

      Beck, Jeffrey L.; Peek, James M. (Society for Range Management, 2004-07-01)
      The effects of grazing by cattle (Bos taurus) and recently reestablished elk (Cervus elaphus) on mountain meadows in northeastern Nevada are poorly understood. We evaluated production, use, and species richness of herbage standing crop in and outside 3 meadow exclosures in northeastern Nevada's Jarbidge Mountains across 3 seasons in 1999 and 2000. Treatments included control, wildlife (mainly big game), and cattle. There was less forb standing crop in fall than in early or mid-summer, but no difference in forb standing crop from early to mid-summer across all treatments. There were no differences in graminoid standing crop among treatments in 1999, while there was significantly less graminoid crop in cattle treatments in 2000 than in the control or wildlife treatments. Species lists in exclosures and cattle treatments overlapped 48.9-68.4%. Clipping treatments to evaluate effects of use on yearly productivity were light use (13.3-24.7%) and total use (clipped to ground) in early and mid-summer, and control. There was no difference in fall or graminoid herbage between controls and quadrats clipped lightly in early summer and mid-summer and there was no difference in forb or graminoid yield (seasonally clipped herbage plus end of growing season herbage) in clipped quadrats and controls. Across years, forbs and graminoids clipped to ground in early summer and mid-summer regrew by fall to no more than 19.2, 4.2, 24.7, and 10.0%, respectively, of the amount in control quadrats. Managers should consider delaying cattle grazing until late summer on mountain meadows used consistently by elk in early summer.
    • Integrating 2,4-D and sheep grazing to rehabilitate spotted knapweed infestations

      Sheley, Roger L.; Jacobs, James S.; Martin, John M. (Society for Range Management, 2004-07-01)
      Effective integrated weed management requires understanding the impacts of management strategies applied alone and in combination. The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of 2,4-D and repeated sheep (Ovis aries) grazing applied alone and in combination on spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa Lam.) and perennial grasses. We hypothesized that integrating a single spring 2,4-D application would remove the adult plants, repeated sheep grazing would control rosettes, and spotted knapweed density, cover and biomass would decrease, allowing residual grasses to reoccupy the sites. A single spring 2,4-D application at 2.1 kg a.iha-1, repeated annual sheep grazing of 95% spotted knapweed or 60% grass utilization, and repeated sheep grazing and 2,4-D combined were applied to small pastures at 2 sites in western Montana beginning in 1997 and continued through 2001. Spotted knapweed rosette and flowering plant density, and spotted knapweed and perennial grass cover and biomass were sampled from 1998 through 2001. Spotted knapweed rosette density was 61.7, 34.3, 44.3, and 0.3 m-2 in the control, sheep grazing, 2,4-D, and combined sheep grazing and 2,4-D treatments, respectively, at 1 site in 2001. Spotted knapweed flowering plant density increased from 3.7 in 1998 to 10.7 m-2 in 2002 in the 2,4-D treatment whereas there was no increase in the 2,4-D combined with sheep grazing treatment from 1998 to 2002. Perennial grass biomass was 6.9, 8.4, 25.7, and 19.7 in the control, sheep grazing, 2,4-D, and combined sheep grazing and 2,4-D treatments, respectively, averaged for both sites and 4 years of sampling. Herbicides released perennial grasses from weed competition and changed the weed population from mature, less palatable plants to juvenile plants that were preferred by sheep.
    • Late summer protein supplementation for yearling cattle

      Grings, E. E.; Short, R. E.; Haferkamp, M. R.; Heitschmidt, R. K. (Society for Range Management, 2004-07-01)
      Three studies were conducted to evaluate late summer protein supplementation for growing steers on Northern Great Plains rangeland. In Experiment 1, crossbred yearling steers (N = 80 per year, mean initial live-weight = 275 kg) were allotted to 1 of 2 treatments replicated in 3 pastures in each of 3 years. Treatments were summer-long grazing with or without protein supplementation in late summer. Protein supplement (26% crude protein) was fed at a rate of 1.68 kg (dry matter basis) every third day. In 1995, a third treatment was added to additional pastures consisting of 1.62 kg (dry matter basis) of a 40% crude protein supplement fed every third day. There was no weight gain response to protein supplementation. In Experiment 2, yearling steers grazing rangeland from May to September were fed either no supplement, 1.5 kg of a 22% crude protein safflower meal-based supplement, 1.2 kg of 26% soybean meal-based supplement or 1.2 kg of a 26% safflower and soybean meal-based supplement every third day in late summer. Live-weight gain, forage intake, and digestibility were not affected by supplementation. A third experiment using ruminally cannulated steers fed grass hay and the 3 protein supplements based on safflower and soybean meals showed an increase in ruminal ammonia concentrations but no other appreciable change in ruminal fermentation with protein supplementation. Supplementation with as much as 648 grams of protein every third day was not a viable means to increase gains of steers grazing Northern Great Plains rangelands during late summer under the conditions of this experiment.
    • Livestock forage conditioning: Bluebunch wheatgrass, Idaho fescue, and bottlebrush squirreltail

      Ganskopp, Dave; Svejcar, Tony; Vavra, Marty (Society for Range Management, 2004-07-01)
      Research on Anderson and Scherzinger's hypothesis that spring cattle grazing can positively affect subsequent nutritional characteristics of grasses have generated mixed results. Our objectives were: 1) to evaluate fall/winter nutritional indices of bluebunch wheatgrass (Agropyron spicatum [Pursh] Scribn. Smith), Idaho fescue (Festuca idahoensis Elmer), and bottlebrush squirreltail (Sitanion hystrix (Nutt.) Smith) in ungrazed, lightly grazed (33% utilization), or heavily grazed (69% utilization) pastures stocked with cattle at the boot stage of growth; and 2) to quantify opportunity costs of applying those treatments on fall standing crop. Compared with ungrazed stands, light and heavy spring grazing decreased September standing crop by 32 and 67%, respectively. September/December crude protein (CP) among heavily grazed grasses (x̄ = 6.9%) exceeded ungrazed controls (x̄ = 3.9%) for 11 of 12 comparisons. Crude protein of lightly grazed grasses (x̄ = 5.2%) was higher than ungrazed controls for 6 of 12 comparisons. Herbage was more nutritious during the drier of the 2 years sampled. Among grazed treatments, fall/winter CP measures were highest for bottlebrush squirreltail (x̄ = 7.4%), intermediate for Idaho fescue (5.9%), and lowest for bluebunch wheatgrass (0=4.9%). In fall/winter, herbage was most digestible in heavily grazed paddocks (x̄ = 59%), intermediate in lightly grazed paddocks (x̄ = 53%), and least digestible in ungrazed areas (x̄ = 49%). Light and heavy spring cattle grazing can augment fall/winter forage quality of bluebunch wheatgrass, Idaho fescue, and bottlebrush squirreltail. Spring grazing reduces subsequent standing crop, but remaining forage will be nutritionally superior to herbage in ungrazed stands.
    • Restoration of communities dominated by false hellebore

      Cosgriff, Rachel; Anderson, Val Jo; Monson, Stephen (Society for Range Management, 2004-07-01)
      False hellebore (Veratrum californicum Durand) is a native component of high-elevation, meadow-riparian areas of the mountain West that has increased due to historic heavy grazing. In 1991, a study was established in dense stands of false hellebore to evaluate mechanical and chemical control methods to reduce false hellebore and increase the abundance of the other native herbaceous species in these tall-forb communities. Four control methods consisting of the herbicide glyphosate (N-phenophonomethylglycine), mow, mowing in 2 consecutive years (remow), and tillage were used in 1991-1992. Each method was evaluated based on (1) reduction of false hellebore stem densities; (2) response of residual understory species; and (3) effectiveness of seeding a perennial grass and forb mixture to sustain initial treatment control. Stem density of false hellebore and nested frequency data for all species were collected in 1991, 1992, 1995, and 1999. The glyphosate treatment was effective in reducing false hellebore stem density which allowed for recovery of the remnant tall-forb community. The till treatment, while effectively reducing false hellebore stem density, also eliminated the other species in the community, leaving it open to invasive weeds. The mow and remow treatments did not reduce false hellebore stem density, but did allow for recovery of other components of the tall-forb community. Seeding following control treatments had no effect on false hellebore stem densities due to poor establishment. The mechanical treatments were generally more cumbersome in application and limited to gentle topography and well-drained sites without surface rocks. The application of herbicides is much easier and is adaptable to all types of terrain. The use of the herbicide glyphosate gave the best balance of false hellebore control and recovery of the tall-forb community.
    • Short-term grazing exclusion effects on riparian small mammal communities

      Giuliano, William M.; Homyack, Joshua D. (Society for Range Management, 2004-07-01)
      Grazing of livestock in streams and associated riparian habitats (hereafter referred to as riparian zones) may affect small mammal communities by influencing vegetation, water quality, and other site characteristics. To better understand these effects, we compared vegetation structure, and abundance and richness of small mammals in grazed riparian zones and similar areas where livestock had recently (1-2 years) been excluded in southwest Pennsylvania, 1998 and 1999. Mammalian species richness and abundance (all species combined, meadow voles [Microtus pennsylvanicus Ord], and meadow jumping mice [Zapus hudsonius Zimmermann]) were greater on sites where livestock had been excluded than grazed areas. These findings are likely the result of greater litter cover and increased vertical vegetation obstruction observed on these sites. Because small mammal communities respond quickly to relaxation of grazing in riparian zones, subsidy programs exist to partially pay for fencing, and landowners may potentially benefit from fencing these areas through improved water quality, erosion control, and livestock health, fencing may be an effective wildlife and grazing management tool.
    • Spatial patterns of light gaps in mesic grasslands

      Derner, Justin D.; Wu, X. Ben (Society for Range Management, 2004-07-01)
      The spatial pattern of light gaps in mesic grasslands in central Texas with contrasting disturbance histories was assessed using patch-based landscape metrics determined from a threshold level (25% of full sunlight), as light intensities below this threshold substantially decrease survival of honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa var. glandulosa Torr.) seedlings. The spatial pattern of light gaps, with the exception of edge density, were significantly different between annually-disturbed and non-disturbed grasslands on all sample dates (2 April, 30 April, 29 May, and 26 June 1998). Differences in patch metrics did not occur between non-disturbed grasslands despite contrasting vegetation composition [perennial forbs and perennial bunch (tussock) grasses]. Patch-based landscape metrics of light gaps did vary temporally in both annually-disturbed and non-disturbed grasslands. The structure and spatial configuration of light gaps were distinctly different between annually-disturbed and non-disturbed grasslands: a low density of large patches characterized light gaps in annually-disturbed grassland, whereas non-disturbed grasslands had a high density of small patches. Our findings demonstrate that the current disturbance regime is the principal environmental driver influencing species dominance and composition, and indirectly vegetation structure, which collectively contribute to the observed dynamics of light gap patches in these mesic grasslands. Incorporating spatially explicit consideration of light gap structure and dynamics into experimental studies addressing invasion of weedy plant species such as honey mesquite may be an effective approach to address mechanisms and the ecological significance of disturbance operating as a driver facilitating woody plant invasions in mesic grasslands.
    • Writing Book Reviews for the Journal Of Range Management and Rangelands

      Scarnecchia, David L. (Society for Range Management, 2004-07-01)
      Effective, analytical reviews of recently published books inform readers of their essential content, and evaluate and communicate the value of their content to professional disciplines and the reading public. Such book reviews are widely read contributions to the Society for Range Management's publications, the Journal of Range Management and Rangelands, and are important elements of evaluation and communication within the Society. This paper is designed to assist writers in developing book reviews for the Journal of Range Management and Rangelands. Much of its analysis is relevant to book reviews for other publications. It begins with preliminary considerations for prospective authors. The functions of a book review are explained. Important considerations concerning reading the book are examined. The paper emphasizes the importance of finding a theme for a review. The common parts of a written review, i.e., the introduction, description of content, analysis and evaluation, and closing are considered individually. The paper then examines aspects of editing a review, and addresses some matters of style in writing. It concludes with a brief discussion of the importance of synthesis in developing an effective book review.