Welcome to the Rangeland Ecology & Management archives. The journal Rangeland Ecology & Management (RE&M; v58, 2005-present) is the successor to the Journal of Range Management (JRM; v. 1-57, 1948-2004.) The archives provide public access, in a "rolling window" agreement with the Society for Range Management, to both titles (JRM and RE&M), from v.1 up to five years from the present year.

The most recent years of RE&M are available through membership in the Society for Range Management (SRM). Membership in SRM is a means to access current information and dialogue on rangeland management.

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Print ISSN: 0022-409x

Online ISSN: 1550-7424


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Recent Submissions

  • Soil carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus in modified rangeland communities

    Whalen, J. K.; Willms, W. D.; Dormaar, J. F. (Society for Range Management, 2003-11-01)
    Rangelands contain between 10 and 30% of global soil organic C reserves and may be an important sink for atmospheric CO2, but less C tends to be stored in rangelands cultivated for agricultural use than undisturbed rangelands. Establishing perennial plant communities on formerly cultivated rangelands is expected to stabilize soil properties and increase the amount of C stored in rangeland soils, but there is little information on what plant communities are most effective at building soil C reserves. The purpose of this study was to compare soil C, N, and P pools in ungrazed native rangelands with ungrazed, unfertilized rangelands that were cultivated and then 1) abandoned, 2) seeded with non-native perennial grasses or legumes, or 3) cropped annually for 5 to 6 years. Three study sites in southern Alberta, Canada with native Stipa-Bouteloua, Stipa-Bouteloua-Agropyron and Festuca campestris plant communities represented the major ecotypes of the Northern Great Plains. The total C, N, and P content of rangeland soils were greatest at the Festuca campestris site, followed by the Stipa-Bouteloua-Agropyron and Stipa-Bouteloua sites, probably due to climatic conditions (precipitation and temperature). Generally, soils under modified plant communities contained less total C and N than soils under native rangeland, but the total P content was related more to site preparation than experimental treatments. Soils under alfalfa, orchardgrass and bromegrass tended to have more total C and N than soils cultivated annually in continuous wheat or wheat-fallow systems. The accumulation of C and N in soils under permanent cover was not related to net primary productivity and may be influenced more by the chemical composition and rate of decomposition of plant residues.
  • Germination of seeds of Fremont cottonwood

    Young, J. A.; Clements, C. D. (Society for Range Management, 2003-11-01)
    Fremont cottonwood (Populus fremontii S. Watson) is the most important cottonwood species of the southwestern United States. It is usually found in riparian areas of desert riverine systems. Often it is the only tree species in such environments. Lack of Fremont cottonwood seedling recruitment is of concern in many areas. This is especially an issue in river systems infested with the exotic saltceder (Tamarix ramosissima Ledeb.). The proposed suppression of saltceder with a biological control agent, raises the question of the spontaneous recruitment of Fremont cottonwood seedlings if competition is reduced from exotic woody species. Several studies have stressed that geomorphologic-hydrologic conditions in riparian habitats control safesites for Fremont and other cottonwood species seed germination and seedling establishment. Our purpose was to investigate the physiological amplitude for Fremont cottonwood seeds to germinate under a wide range of constant or alternating temperatures. Immediately after dispersal the seeds of Fremont cottonwood are highly germinable. In each of the 3 years that seeds were collected multiple temperature regimes supported 100% germination. Optimum germination averaged over 90%. At moderate to high warm period temperatures, most germination that will occur does so during the first week after imbibition of moisture. Temperature regimes that supported optimum germination at least once ranged from 0/5 degrees C to 25/40 degrees C. The regimes that always supported optimum germination were in 2 distinct group: 2/25 and 2/30 degrees C; and a wider dispersed group with 15, 25, or 25 degrees C cold period temperatures and 25, 30, or 35 degrees C warm period temperatures. There was one outlier at 10/15 degrees C. Fremont cottonwood seeds are highly and rapidly germinable at a wide range of temperatures.
  • Carbon isotope discrimination and yield in 14 cool-season grasses

    Johnson, D. A.; Asay, K. H.; Jensen, K. B. (Society for Range Management, 2003-11-01)
    Selection for carbon isotope discrimination (delta) has potential for improving water-use efficiency in cool-season grasses. An understanding of how delta is affected by differential water application and its association with dry mater yield may be helpful in identifying the best cool-season grass species for breeding and improvement, and may assist in designing selection and breeding procedures for improving cool-season grasses. We designed a study to evaluate the response of delta and dry matter yield to a gradient of water application in 14 cool-season, perennial grasses. The grasses were established in a rainout shelter facility equipped with a line-source irrigation system to study the: i) trends in dry matter yield across 6 water levels (WL-1 through 6, ranging from 981 to 64 mm water applied) and delta across 3 water levels (WL-1, 3, and 5), ii) grass x water level interactions for these traits, and iii) relationship between dry matter yield and delta in these grasses across a 2-year period. When averaged across years, the grasses differed significantly for delta at the highest (WL-1) and lowest (WL-5) water levels, but not at WL-3. Reductions in delta were strongly linear from WL-1 to WL-5, and although some inconsistencies were evident, the trend was similar for all grasses. Grasses differed significantly for dry matter yield at each of the water levels. Although the change in dry matter yield was mostly linear across water levels, the trend was not consistent among the grasses. In general, delta was not closely associated with dry matter yield; however, some exceptions with high dry matter yield and high delta were evident. This lack of close association between dry matter yield and delta in these 14 grasses suggests that breeding efforts to improve these grasses should involve simultaneous selection for dry matter yield and delta.
  • Nitrogen effects on seed germination and seedling growth

    Monaco, T. A.; MacKown, C. T.; Johnson, D. A.; Jones, T. A.; Norton, J. M.; Norton, J. B.; Redinbaugh, M. G. (Society for Range Management, 2003-11-01)
    Recent evidence associates the persistence of invasive plant species with disturbance and fluctuations in distinct forms of mineral N in soils. We conducted soil and hydroponic experiments to investigate the influence of N form and availability on germination and seedling development of 2 invasive annual grasses, cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae) and 6 perennial grasses, bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata), crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum x A. desertorum), Sand Hollow and Seaman's Gulch big squirreltail (Elymus multisetus), and Little Camas and Little Wood bottlebrush squirreltail (E. elymoides ssp. brevifolius and E. elymoides ssp. elymoides, respectively). Seeds were sown in soils with no soil additions, barley straw (1 mg kg-1), NH4+ = 10 mg N kg-1, NH4+ + I (nitrification inhibitor) = 10 mg N kg-1 + 37 ml nitrapyrin, or NO3- = 10 mg N kg-1 to evaluate cumulative germination percentage for 20 days in an incubator. For the hydroponic experiment, grass seedlings were exposed to distinct forms and uniform concentrations of mineral N to monitor root and shoot growth for 21 days. Treatments were no N added, NH4+ (1 mM), NO3- (1 mM), and NH4NO3 (0.5 mM). Treatments did not alter germination in the soil experiment. Lack of soil N effect on seed germination is attributed to the absence of seed dormancy in the populations of grasses we evaluated. Initial root length and overall shoot growth of grasses were greater in the NO3- than in the NH4+ treatment more frequently for perennial grasses. Root and shoot growth of medusahead and cheatgrass generally exceeded that of the other grasses except crested wheatgrass. However, relative decreases in root dry mass for the no N treatment were greater for the invasive annual grasses than the perennial grasses when compared to the N-addition treatments.
  • Long-term effects of burning Festuca and Stipa-Agropyron grasslands

    Pylypec, B.; Romo, J. T. (Society for Range Management, 2003-11-01)
    The effects of early spring burning on current year standing crop, litter, and total standing crop (current year standing crop plus litter) were examined in Festuca- and Stipa-Agropyron-dominated communities in central Saskatchewan over an 11-year period in a paired design with burned sites compared to adjacent control sites that were not burned. In Festuca communities current year standing crop was reduced in the first and third years (P = 0.010) after burning. Burning Stipa-Agropyron-communities tended to reduce current year standing crop, but the differences were not significant (P 0.050) compared to control. Increasing precipitation stimulated current year standing crop after burning Festuca (P < 0.001, r2 = 0.33) and Stipa-Agropyron (P < 0.001, r2 = 0.55) communities. Litter and current year standing crop were correlated (R2 = 0.24, P = 0.002) for Festuca indicating beneficial and detrimental effects of litter on production at low and high amounts, respectively. Litter and current year standing crop were not correlated (P = 0.964) for Stipa-Agropyron. In both communities total standing crop increased until about the eighth year after burning while the mass of litter appeared to reach a plateau around 11 years.
  • Defoliation, waterlogging and dung influences allocation patterns of Deschampsia caespitosa

    Merrill, E. H.; Colberg, P. J. S. (Society for Range Management, 2003-11-01)
    Wet meadows are some of the most productive communities in the northern Rocky Mountains, USA but are also among the most sensitive to grazing by native ungulates and domestic livestock. These meadows typically are inundated with floodwater in spring and early summer but are relatively dry in summer. To determine the interactive effects of clipping and flooding on plant recovery after clipping, we subjected plants of tufted hairgrass (Deschampsia caespitosa (L.) Beauv) to 6-week and 10-week waterlogging treatments in combination with 1 and 2 clipping events, with and without dung amendment in a greenhouse experiment. The experiment was designed to mimic early and late growing-season patterns of herbivory by native and domestic herbivores on a dominant species of wet meadows of this region. Waterlogged plants produced a higher percentage of roots at the surface, elongated stems to the first axial leaf, increased the proportion of tillers that flowered, but increased aboveground yield and tiller height only with the addition of dung. Root biomass declined with waterlogging when dung was not added, and a second defoliation exacerbated the negative effects of waterlogging on roots. Defoliation with short-duration waterlogging increased shoot nitrogen (N) concentration and N yield/root biomass, while continuous waterlogging reduced shoot N concentration of aboveground biomass. Dung amendment did not reverse this effect. Although extended flooding in combination with moderate rates of defoliation did not reduce aboveground biomass of Deschampsia caespitosa, it aggravated total root loss, caused shifts to a shallower root distribution, and altered N concentration of aboveground biomass for herbivores.
  • Herbicide effects on vegetation spatial patterns in a mesquite savanna

    Heaton, C. B.; Wu, X. B.; Ansley, R. J. (Society for Range Management, 2003-11-01)
    Several studies have examined the impact of woody plant (i.e., brush) management efforts on mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa Torr.) cover and associated ecological impacts, but little research has been done on spatial attributes of vegetation following mesquite management treatments. This study examined the effects of above-ground mortality (triclopyr or 2,4,5-T) and whole-plant mortality (clopyralid or triclopyr+clopyralid) mesquite herbicide treatments on the canopy cover and spatial pattern of vegetation in a mesquite savanna and the associated ecological and management implications. A GIS and landscape analysis based on classified color-infrared aerial photos were used to quantify the spatial patterns of woody and non-woody vegetation. The results indicate long-term (> 20 year) persistence of disturbance effects on the amount and spatial pattern of woody vegetation. Significant differences in spatial pattern were found between the herbicide treatments and the non-treated plots, as well as between the above-ground mortality (AGM) and whole-plant mortality (WPM) herbicide treatments. The differential changes in the amount and spatial distribution of woody cover under different treatments resulted in substantially different spatial distributions of non-woody vegetation with respect to distance to nearest woody vegetation. These spatial variations may influence production and zonation of herbaceous vegetation due to modified shading and root competition from mesquite. Our results support observations of differential rates of mesquite seedling recruitment and establishment between treatment types. We conclude that consideration of spatial pattern should be an important component of future brush management plans.
  • Brassica elongata ssp. integrifolia seed germination

    Young, J. A.; Clements, C. D.; Wilson, R. (Society for Range Management, 2003-11-01)
    Repeatedly during the late 19th and early 20th century, exotic weeds were introduced to the sagebrush (Artemisia)/bunchgrass rangelands of the Great Basin. Once established these weeds became invasive, spreading without the conscious efforts of humans. Brassica elongata ssp. integrifolia (Boiss.) Breistr. offers evidence this process of introduction still continues. Brassica elongata ssp. integrifolia is native to southeastern Europe and Asia. It was first collected in North America near Portland, Ore. in 1911. This initial infestation apparently did not persist. The next collection was near Eureka, Nev. in 1968. Currently, Brassica elongata ssp. integrifolia has spread about 200 km east and west along U S Highway 50 and 100 km north and south of the highway along secondary roads. As a first step in understanding the seed and seedbed ecology of this new invasive weed we investigated the germination of seeds at a wide range of constant and alternating temperatures. This plant produces abundant seeds that germinate over a wide range of constant and alternating temperatures. Maximum germination ranged from 84 to 94% depending on the year of seed production. Germination was extremely limited at very cold seedbed temperatures and low at the cold category of seedbed temperatures. Germination at these temperature is a competitive advantage for other exotic species on Great Basin rangelands.
  • Big sacaton and endophyte-infected Arizona fescue germination under water stress

    Neil, K. L.; Tiller, R. L.; Faeth, S. H. (Society for Range Management, 2003-11-01)
    Water availability in the germination stage of plants is crucial for seed germination and as a resource for developing seedlings. The effect of osmotic potential on percent germination and time to germination for big sacaton (Sporobolus wrightii Munro) and Arizona fescue (Festuca arizonica Vasey) was investigated. We predicted that seeds native to semi-arid environments would germinate at osmotic potentials less negative than about -1.5 MPa, the permanent wilting point (PWP) of many agronomic grasses. In addition, the systemic, asexual endophyte Neotyphodium is transmitted through the seed in Arizona fescue and is thought to increase germination of its host. Therefore, we also tested for an effect of the endophyte on germination and time to germination of Arizona fescue under varying osmotic potentials. To test for minimum osmotic potential supporting germination, big sacaton and Arizona fescue seeds were placed on acetate membranes in contact with PEG solutions of varying osmotic potentials for 2 weeks. Both grasses germinated at 50% of maximum germination (at soil saturation) at and below the standard PWP (-1.5 Mpa). Big sacaton and Arizona fescue germinated at 64% and 60% at -1.5 MPa, respectively, and Arizona fescue germinated at 35% at -1.8 MPa (70% was the maximum at saturation). The presence of the Neotyphodium endophyte did not affect percent or time to germination of Arizona fescue at any of the osmotic potentials tested.
  • Responses of bahiagrass to nitrogen and defoliation

    Hirata, M.; Pakiding, W. (Society for Range Management, 2003-11-01)
    Pensacola bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum Flgge) swards pretreated with fertilizer nitrogen rates of 0 and 66-99 kg N ha-1 year-1 were exposed to repeated, severe defoliation (i.e., removal of all laminae) of every day (D1), every 2 days (D2), and every 4 days (D4). Responses of the grass were monitored in terms of tiller survival, lamina production and changes in the mass of the stubble-stolon-root system, in an effort to investigate the effects of nitrogen rate and defoliation frequency on defoliation tolerance, to examine differences in survival ability of tillers among tiller age cohorts, and to evaluate contribution of the stubble-stolon-root system to defoliation tolerance. With the progress of defoliation treatments over 12 weeks, the swards degraded with decreasing tiller density, lamina production, and mass of stubble and stolons. Defoliation tolerance in terms of tiller survival was influenced only by defoliation frequency (D1 = D2 < D4), with no significant effect of nitrogen fertilizer rate. There were no differences in survival ability of tillers among age cohorts formed before the defoliation treatments, suggesting that all tillers in bahiagrass were able to share energy and nutrients in connecting stolons under severe defoliation. It was confirmed that stolons play a key role in defoliation tolerance in bahiagrass as the main storage organ supporting aboveground parts, whereas the contribution of roots seems nil.
  • True mountain mahogany community and shrub size responses to browsing

    Turley, D.; Roundy, B. A.; Walker, S. C. (Society for Range Management, 2003-11-01)
    True mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus Raf.) provides nutritional winter forage for big game species in the mountain brush zone. To determine browsing effects, animal use, percent vegetation cover, and shrub dimensions were measured inside and outside exclosures up to 7 years old on 4 sites on the North Slope of the Unita Mountains, and at an exclosure 50 years old in the Wasatch Mountains, Utah. Utilization was measured in an associated twig demography study. Winter big game use increased from 1997 to 1999 at the North Slope. Utilization of annual growth ranged from 21 to over 300%, depending on the site and year and did not necessarily parallel animal use. Greater than 100% utilization of annual growth resulted when previous years' wood was browsed. There was little difference in vegetation cover, species richness, and diversity inside and outside the exclosures, but mountain mahogany had lower cover and smaller size outside than inside the exclosures at 3 North Slope sites. Mahogany cover was similar, but width and breadth of shrubs were smaller outside than inside the > 50-year old exclosure in the Wasatch Mountains. Browsed shrubs maintained their size from 1995 to 1999 at the North Slope, despite over 100 % utilization of annual growth at 3 of the sites in at least 1 year. True mountain mahogany is highly tolerant of winter browsing, and can compensate for > 100% utilization of annual growth by increased growth during wet years. However, continued use of over 100 % of annual growth could reduce cover, shrub size, and forage production during years of lower resource availability. A practical management approach is to monitor cover and size of shrubs inside and outside well-placed exclosures across the winter range over time, and reduce herd numbers as appropriate to allow browsed shrubs to maintain or reach the size of unbrowsed shrubs when their growth has leveled off after a few years of exclusion.
  • Roller chopping effects on tamaulipan scrub community composition

    Schindler, J. R.; Fulbright, T. E. (Society for Range Management, 2003-11-01)
    Palatability of shrub sprouts to white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus Raf.) differs among species, which causes selective browsing and can shift shrub species composition to dominance by less palatable species. The hypothesis was tested that differences in palatability of new sprouts among shrub species following roller chopping small (4 ha) patches within a shrubland matrix would result in a shift in shrub species composition within the patches toward less palatable species. Relative density and relative canopy cover of all woody species in plots 9 years after 1 roller chopping treatment, in plots 3 years after 2 roller chopping treatments, and in untreated plots were estimated. Relative density of blackbrush acacia (Acacia rigidula Benth.) was 3 times greater and relative canopy cover was 12 times greater 9 years after the first roller chopping treatment compared to untreated plots, but relative density and relative canopy cover of blackbrush acacia in roller chopped plots were similar to relative density and relative canopy cover in untreated plots 3 years after the second roller chopping treatment. Relative canopy cover of spiny hackberry (Celtis pallida Torr.) in plots roller chopped in 1989 and 1995 was higher than in untreated plots. Relative density and canopy cover of all other species were similar between roller chopped and untreated plots. Shrub community composition 9 years after 1 roller chopping treatment or 3 years after 2 roller chopping treatments in the subtropical thornscrub communities in southern Texas did not shift toward greater dominance of less palatable species.
  • Growth and reproductive responses of true mountain mahogany to browsing

    Turley, D.; Roundy, B. A.; Walker, S. C. (Society for Range Management, 2003-11-01)
    True mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus Raf.) compensates for annual growth lost to browsing under conditions of high resource availability. To develop better guidelines for its management for big game winter forage, twig demography was studied under natural herbivory and resource availability inside and outside exclosures at 1 site in the Wasatch Mountains and on 4 sites on the North Slope of the Uinta Mountains, Utah. Annual and previous years' twig lengths, as well as location and numbers of flowers and seeds were diagrammed on branches of browsed and unbrowsed shrubs in the spring or summer and fall between 1996 and 1999. Annual twig growth and flower and seed numbers of both browsed and unbrowsed shrubs were greatest in 1997 or 1998 when precipitation was highest. Utilization of annual growth varied among sites within a year and among years within a site and ranged from < 21 % to > 300 % when previous years' growth was browsed. Despite differences in utilization, browsed twigs compensated similarly for length lost to herbivory, so that total twig lengths remained the same over the course of the study. Although twigs on unbrowsed shrubs had less annual growth per unit branch length than those on browsed shrubs, lack of length lost to herbivory resulted in an increase in total twig length over time. Years of high resource availability are important in allowing grazing tolerant shrubs such as true mountain mahogany to compensate for years of heavy utilization. Flower and seed numbers were much higher (P < 0.05) on unbrowsed than browsed shrubs. Compensatory growth was enough to maintain, but not increase total twig lengths after high utilization (> 100 %) even on years of high resource availability.
  • An evaluation of the federal grazing fee formula

    Torell, L. A.; Rimbey, N. R.; Va, L. W.; Tanaka, J. A.; Bartlett, E. T. (Society for Range Management, 2003-11-01)
    The federal grazing fee is currently set using the Public Rangeland Improvement Act (PRIA) fee formula established in 1978 and modified in 1986. The formula is adjusted annually using indices of private land grazing lease rates (Forage Value Index, FVI), prices received for beef cattle (Beef Cattle Price Index, BCPI), and costs of beef production (Prices Paid Index, PPI). The FVI tracks price movement in the private forage market and was the only index originally proposed to be included in the fee formula. Public land ranchers and the Interdepartmental Grazing Fee Technical Committee assigned to study grazing fee alternatives in the 1960s questioned the ability of the FVI to account for short-term demand, supply, and price equilibrium, and, for this reason, the BCPI and PPI were added to the fee formula. Nearly 40 years of data are now available to evaluate whether adding the BCPI and PPI did, in fact, help explain short-term market fluctuations. Analysis shows that if tracking the private forage market is the primary objective, the fee formula should have included only the FVI. Including the BCPI and the PPI has caused calculated grazing fees to fall further and further behind private land lease rates. Had the 1.23 base fee in the PRIA formula been indexed by only the FVI, the federal grazing fee would have been 4.36 AUM-1 instead of 1.43 AUM-1 in 2002. It is time to consider the feasibility of a competitive bid system for public lands, or, at the very least, drop the BCPI and PPI indices and adopt a new fee formula that generates more equitable grazing fees.
  • Recreationist responses to livestock grazing in a new national monument

    Brunson, Mark W.; Gilbert, Lael (Society for Range Management, 2003-11-01)
    Several U.S. rangeland areas recently have been designated as national monuments to protect scientifically or culturally important resources. Typically recreation and livestock uses have been retained in these areas. Because some people believe protection and use are incompatible, and because monument designation can increase public scrutiny of management while attracting new visitors to the area, we surveyed hunters and hikers in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah, about their perceptions of livestock grazing in the monument. We examined associations between visitors' personal characteristics and their reports of how livestock grazing and multiple-use management affect recreation experiences. Recreation activity type was a significant predictor of experience effects, but we found no evidence that the act of designating a national monument itself affected experiences. Locations of current and childhood residence also were significantly associated with experience effects. Because designation tends to attract certain types of visitors more than others, creating rangeland national monuments may foster increased conflict between recreation and livestock grazing uses in those areas.
  • Empowering diversity: envisioning, designing, and developing range management science

    Scarnecchia, D. L. (Society for Range Management, 2003-11-01)
    The fragmented, weak identity of range science has been disadvantageous to the institutions and individuals involved with it. This paper addresses a complex, interrelated group of issues related to range science, the Journal of Range Management, and the Society for Range Management. Beginning with the long-standing conception of the art of range management, it presents a concept of range management science that has multiple implications for the Society for Range Management and its flagship publication, the Journal of Range Management. The paper presents a strategically designed identity for range management science as a synthetic science, i.e., a science of synthesis, and examines the elements of diversity, synthesis, and communication that are the essence of that identity. It encourages a diverse, inclusive, synergistic character for, and offers many suggestions related to the philosophy and conduct of, the science, the Journal, and the Society. The harmonious vision of range management science that it presents is designed to give the science a strong, coherent, marketable identity. The vision is dynamic in that it can readily accommodate evolving changes. That vision is designed to make the diversity of the science and the Society work for us, rather than against us, by establishing a philosophical environment where the kind of scientific, institutional, informational, and professional synergies we need can flourish.