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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  • Yield and quality of RS-2, a quackgrass X bluebunch wheatgrass hybrid

    Haferkamp, M. R.; Adams, D. C.; Borman, M. M.; Grings, E. E.; Currie, P. O. (Society for Range Management, 1995-07-01)
    Understanding the effect of defoliation frequency and N fertilization on plant growth, forage yield, and quality of RS-2, a quackgrass [Elytrigia repens (L.) Nevski.] x bluebunch wheat grass [Pseudoroegneria spicata (Pursh.) Love] hybrid, will help promote efficient use of this hybrid in livestock production systems. Plants were fertilized with 0, 112, or 224 kg N ha-1 in spring 1988 and 1989, or with a 112 + 112 kg N ha-1 split in spring and summer. One set of plants was unmowed or mowed to a 5cm stubble height once in July or August in 1988 and another set was mowed initially in May, June, July, August, September, or October 1989 and monthly thereafter through October. Peak standing crop of unmowed plants was 3,470 kg ha-1 in 1988 and 5,850 kg ha-1 in 1989. In 1989 yields of fertilized plants exceeded those of unfertilized plants by 1,000 kg ha-1. In 1988, crude protein exceeded 12% in unmowed forage and in 1989 varied from 20% in May to 8% in August. After fertilization, crude protein was increased by 2 to 4 percentage units in 1988 and by 2 percentage units in 1989, but fertilization had no effect on in vitro digestible organic matter. Regrowth contained more crude protein (15-22%) and digestible organic matter (29-40%) than unmowed forage. Sequential harvesting enhanced quality of regrowth, but standing crops did not exceed 350 kg ha-1; except in June 1989. Sixty percent of the accumulated yield was harvested with the first mowing during May through August. Plots harvested initially in September and October were only harvested once. Our findings indicate an increase in forage yield potential and forage quality of RS-2 after harvesting and fertilizing the RS-2 hybrid.
  • Weed suppression with grazing or atrazine during big bluestem establishment

    Lawrence, B. K.; Waller, S. S.; Moser, L. E.; Anderson, B. E.; Larson, L. L. (Society for Range Management, 1995-07-01)
    Weed competition is a major factor causing warm-season grass seeding failures in rangeland and cropland. With a limited number of herbicides available for weed control, grazing may reduce competing vegetation in seedings and serve as an alternative to herbicides. Many immature weedy forbs and grasses are palatable to cattle and contain high nutrient levels. Research was conducted (RCBD, 4 reps) comparing grazing by yearling cattle with chemical suppression [atrazine (6-chloro-N-ethyl-N-(methylethyl)-1, 3, 5-triazine-2, 4-diamine)] for weed control in big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii var. gerardii Vitman) seedlings at Mead, Nebr. on a Sharpsburg silty clay loam (fine, montmorillonitic, mesic Typic Argiudoll) soil. Big bluestem was seeded at 220 PLS m-2 on 8 May 1987 and 25 April 1988. Weed control practices were mob grazing, continuous stocking, early-season mob and continuous stocking, chemical suppression with atrazine (2.2 kg a.iha-1), and a control. Paddocks were mob grazed 4 times in 1987 and 2 times in 1988. Paddocks were continuously stocked from 10 June to 22 July 1987. Continuous stocking was not attempted in 1988 because nitrate (NO3-) levels in redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus L.) exceeded toxic levels (23,400 to 55,600 mg kg-1 NO3-) throughout the season. Acceptable big bluestem stands developed in 1987 and 1988, 14 and 6 plants m-2 respectively, on areas treated with atrazine. Density and frequency of big bluestem seedlings were lower on the atrazine-treated plots in 1988 due to higher levels of weed competition and reduced precipitation. Grazing treatments resulted in inadequate stands (< 1.0 plant m-2) of big bluestem in both years. Grazing is not a suitable alternative to chemical suppression for weed control for big bluestem establishment in sub-humid and humid environments where high weed populations are common.
  • Water budget for south Texas rangelands

    Weltz, M. A.; Blackburn, W. H. (Society for Range Management, 1995-01-01)
    Understanding hydrologic processes is essential to determine if water yield augmentation is possible through vegetation manipulation. Nine large non-weighing lysimeters, each 35 m2, were installed on the La Copita Research Area, 20 km south of Alice, in the eastern Rio Grande Plain of Texas. The non-weighing lysimeters were used to test the hypothesis that honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa var glandulosa Torr.) shrub clusters have greater evapotranspiration rates than grass interspaces. Annual evapotranspiration rates of shrub clusters and grass interspaces were found to be similar, and both were significantly greater than evaporative losses from bare soil. Surface runoff and deep drainage of water (> 2 m) from the bare soil were significantly greater than from the grass interspaces and shrub clusters. There was no drainage of water below 2 m from the shrub clusters. A total of 22 mm of water percolated below 2 m from the grass interspace during the 18 month study period. These results indicate that no net change in the water budget would occur if shrub clusters were replaced with grasses in years with below average or normal rainfall. Increasing water yield from converting shrub-dominated rangelands to grass-dominated rangelands in south Texas is marginal in this area and limited to years when winter and spring rainfall exceeds potential evapotranspiration. There is little evidence to suggest that the minimal (non-significant difference) increase in percolation and surface runoff from the grass interspaces could be reliably captured and dependably made available off-site.
  • Viewpoint: The rangeland condition concept and range science's search for identity: A systems viewpoint

    Scarnecchia, D. L. (Society for Range Management, 1995-03-01)
    This paper analyzes the rangeland condition concept, and discusses how the search for a general concept has been part of the larger search for the identity of range science. It distinguishes between the concept and the assessment of rangeland condition, and distinguishes between the concept and ecological theories used in condition assessment. It proposes a general condition concept of modular character in which different ecological theories and field data are interchangeable components applied locally on appropriate, specific areas. It discusses past distinctions between range management and range science, implores the development of range management science, and discusses efforts needed in research, education, and administration to pursue its development. It interprets past and current events related to range science, including the advent of rangeland health, and discusses their relationships to range science's unfulfilled development as a management science. The paper encourages systematic design of concepts needed to allow range science to fulfill its philosophical potential as a management science.
  • Viewpoint: Grazing management and research now and in the next millennium

    Walker, J. W. (Society for Range Management, 1995-07-01)
    Livestock have been a key factor in the development of civilization, but what will their role be in the future and how should the science of rangeland management change to meet the challenges of the future? In this paper I look at current grazing management in the context of paradigm shifts and scientific revolution. The impact of livestock on rangelands occurs primarily because livestock selectively defoliate the available herbage rather than indiscriminately consuming herbage according to its availability. Grazing management via the use of traditional grazing systems does not appreciably affect selective foraging behavior. Trends of the future that will affect societal demands and available technologies include: 1) no lack of resources or food; 2) increased concern for environmental quality; 3) greater demand for open space values of rangelands; and 4) geometric increase in the availability of technologies from molecular biology to solve management problems. The 4 principles of grazing management i.e., 1) timing, 2) distribution, 3) kind/class of livestock, and 4) stocking rate, will not change. Stocking rate is the most important variable in grazing management. If stocking rate is not near the proper level then regardless of other grazing management practices employed objectives will not be met. The ability to determine the proper stocking rate will be hindered by the inability to determine carrying capacity as it varies over time. To change the grazing habits of the animals we must work directly on the genetics of the animal. However, the way we manipulate and manage grazing animals will improve, and our ability to monitor the impact of grazing must also improve. In addition to commodity production, livestock grazed on natural plant communities will also have to simultaneously impact these communities to provide the types of habitat demanded by society. The most important emerging technology for the management of grazing livestock will be genetic manipulation using both classical selection procedures and genetic engineering. New technologies for monitoring impact of livestock on the rangeland resource and for setting and adjusting stocking rates will also be critical. Interdisciplinary research must be encouraged to meet the future demands.
  • Vegetation and soil response to grazing simulation on riparian meadows

    Clary, W. P. (Society for Range Management, 1995-01-01)
    Riparian areas have not responded consistently to grazing systems, suggesting that more knowledge is needed to explain how different areas respond to specific stresses. Several studies were conducted to determine herbaceous plant response to simulated grazing on riparian areas. One low-elevation redtop (Agrostis stolonifera L.) site in Oregon and 2 high-elevation sedge (Carex spp. L.) sites in Idaho were studied for 3 years. Several combinations of defoliation, compaction, nutrient return, and season of use were examined. The redtop community responded to spring, fall, or spring-fall defoliations by maintaining or increasing the following year's aboveground biomass production. The sedge communities maintained or decreased the following years's biomass production after spring, mid summer, or late summer defoliations. An increase in forbs occurred in 1 sedge community following spring defoliations to 1- or 5-cm residual stubble heights. The most consistent plant response among areas was reduction in height growth and biomass production following compaction treatments. When both defoliation and compaction are considered, it appears that spring, fall, or spring and fall grazing to a 5-cm stubble height on the redtop site would not decrease riparian herbage production. In contrast, when defoliation, compaction, and nutrient return effects are considered in the mountain meadow sedge-dominated communities, grazing once annually during the growing season to a 5-cm stubble height in the spring, or to a 10-cm stubble height in late summer, or at a utilization rate exceeding 30% of the total annual biomass production can reduce herbage production significantly. Results suggest that many of the land management agency riparian guidelines would maintain biomass productivity in these sedge-dominated communities.
  • Vegetal recovery following wildfire in seeded and unseeded sagebrush steppe

    Ratzlaff, T. D.; Anderson, J. E. (Society for Range Management, 1995-09-01)
    Following an August wildfire, sagebrush (Artemisia L.)/grass benchlands adjacent to Pocatello, Ida., were seeded with a mixture of exotic wheatgrasses and forbs by rangeland drill in November 1987. The effects of seeding on vegetation development in the immediate postfire years were evaluated by comparing plant density, vegetal cover, species composition, species diversity, and standing crop in seeded areas to that in unseeded control plots in 1988 and 1989. We also examined cover of bare ground, litter, and growth form between treatments and between sampling periods. Twenty paired 10-m transects were established in seeded and unseeded areas on each of 3 plots on the burned benches. Plant density, vegetal cover, and species diversity were lower in the seeded areas than in the unseeded areas in 1988 and 1989. Species composition, species richness, and standing crop were similar between treatments. Establishment of seeded species was poor, probably as a result of drought conditions in 1987 and 1988. Most plants observed in seeded and unseeded areas in the spring of 1988 sprouted from established perennials. Even though the first postfire season was a drought year, plant cover in the unseeded areas (18.3%) approached that estimated by a U.S. interagency task force as needed to stabilize soils on that site. In the following year, which had average precipitation, plant cover in both treatments exceeded the task force's estimate of prefire cover. Because the indigenous plant species recovered rapidly, seeding of this burn was unnecessary to establish plant cover and counterproductive in terms of erosion potential. These results serve to emphasize that objective criteria should be established for evaluating the necessity of postfire seeding.
  • Technical Note: Physical factors that influence fecal analysis estimates of herbivore diets

    Bartolomé, J.; Franch, J.; Gutman, M.; Seligman, N. G. (Society for Range Management, 1995-05-01)
    Microhistological analysis of epidermal fragments in feces is often used to estimate the diet of herbivores but is not generally accepted as a consistently reliable method. Gross errors arise, especially when diets are composed of herbage components with widely different morphological and structural characteristics. The present study investigated the possibility of using such physical characteristics to improve the reliability of the method. Over a 7 day period, 4 rumen-fistulated beef cows were given a fixed diet composed of a shrub, a grass, and a forb component. On the last 2 days, samples of rumen content and feces were taken for analysis of epidermal fragment. Forbs were under-estimated, grasses over-estimated, and shrubs correctly estimated. Correction factors to estimate true diet composition were defined as the biomass represented by the specific epidermal fragments (epidermal weight index) and the degree of degradation to which the epidermis is subjected in the digestion process (epidermal erodibility factor). These factors account for characteristic physical features of the different dietary components and were measured directly or were derived from the calibration experiment. The utility of such factors depends on accurate determination of the component variables and may be overshadowed by sampling error and observer bias in the microhistological identification of epidermal fragments.
  • Technical Note: Fecal NIRS equation field validation

    Lyons, R. K.; Stuth, J. W.; Angerer, J. P. (Society for Range Management, 1995-07-01)
    Seven trials, independent of data used to develop fecal near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) equations, were conducted to validate previously developed fecal NIRS equations for prediction of forage diet crude protein (CP) and in vivo-corrected digestible organic matter (DOM) under field conditions. For both crude protein and digestible organic matter, strong relationships existed between conventional chemistry values of diet samples collected with esophageal-fistulated steers and NIRS predictions from fecal samples collected from intact, mature, Brahman x Hereford cows at 72 hour after grazing was initiated in trial pastures.
  • Technical Note: A total urine collection apparatus for female bison and cattle

    Deliberto, T. J.; Urness, P. J. (Society for Range Management, 1995-01-01)
    A urinary collection device is described for use in metabolism studies on female bison (Bison bison) and cattle. Separating urine from feces, and collecting all urine produced by female animals in metabolism stalls present difficulties. Catheters are usually used on animals in confinement, but often with varying degrees of success. Thus, an external device designed to divert urine into collection receptacles was developed. The urine collection apparatus was used successfully in six 8-day metabolism trials conducted during 1991 and 1992.
  • Supplement and forage effects on fecal output estimates from an intra-ruminal marker device

    Hollingsworth, K. J.; Adams, D. C.; Klopfenstein, T. J.; Lamb, J. B.; Villalobos, G. (Society for Range Management, 1995-03-01)
    Three experiments were conducted to evaluate effects of supplemental protein and forage on marker estimated fecal output using an intraruminal continuous release marker device in grazing steers. In experiment 1, twelve steers were assigned to 3 treatments and fecal collections were made during a 6-day period in December 1990 and again in February 1991. Treatments were: 1) range forage only, 2) range forage + 0.32 kg protein/day from a 70% soybean meal - 30% wheat pellet, and 3) range forage + 0.32 kg crude protein/day from 15.1% meadow hay. Fecal output estimates derived from the marker device were similar (P > 0.10) for all treatments and both periods. Fecal estimates derived from the marker device were greater (P < 0.01) than fecal output from total fecal collection (3.5 kg/day vs 2.7 kg/day); the correlation between estimates from fecal collection and the marker device was 0.85. In experiment 2, ten steers were assigned to treatments 1 and 2 of experiment 1 during December 1991. Fecal output derived from the marker device was similar (P > 0.10) for the 2 supplement treatments. Fecal output estimates were greater (P < 0.10) for the marker device than fecal collection (1.80 kg/day vs 11.63 kg/day); the correlation between estimates from the marker device and total collection was 0.94. In experiment 3, fecal output was derived from the marker device during three 5 day collection periods. Steers grazed upland range in July (green immature forage) and September (cured mature forage) and grazed subirrigated meadow (immature regrowth) in October. Fecal output estimates from the marker device were different (P < 0.05) between collection periods, (e.g., forage sources). When compared to total fecal collection, the marker device underestimated fecal output on range in July (P < 0.01, 2.1 kg/day vs 2.5 kg/day) and on meadow in October (P < 0.01, 2.6 kg/day vs 3.5 kg/day). Correlations between the marker device and fecal collection were 0.93 in July and 0.99 in October, respectively. Estimates from the marker device and total fecal collection were similar (P > 0.10; r = 0.93) on range in September. Protein supplements had no effect on fecal estimates derived from chromic oxide released from a marker device, but the marker estimates were affected by forage source. Correlation between fecal collection and the marker method is high; however, total fecal collection should be used to correct fecal output derived by the marker device for each forage source.
  • Succession and livestock grazing in a northeastern Oregon riparian ecosystem

    Green, D. M.; Kauffman, J. B. (Society for Range Management, 1995-07-01)
    Comparisons of vegetation dynamics of riparian plant communities under livestock use and exclusions over a 10 year period were quantified in a Northeastern Oregon riparian zone. We measured species frequency, richness, diversity, evenness, and livestock utilization in 8 plant communities. Livestock grazed the study area from late August until mid September at a rate of 1.3 to 1.8 ha/AUM. Utilization varied from > 70% in dry meadows to < 3% in cheatgrass dominated stands. Ungrazed dry and moist meadow communities had significantly lower (P lesser than or equal to 0.1) species richness and diversity when compared to grazed counterparts. In the most heavily grazed communities, ruderal and competitive ruderal species were favored by grazing disturbance. In exclosures of the same communities, competitive or competitive stress tolerant species were favored. Both height and density of woody riparian species were significantly greater in ungrazed gravel bar communities. Our results indicate that influences of herbivory on species diversity and eveness varies from 1 community to another and basing management recommendation on 1 component ignores the inherent complexity of riparian ecosystems.
  • Spotted knapweed seed viability after passing through sheep and mule deer

    Wallander, R. T.; Olson, B. E.; Lacey, J. R. (Society for Range Management, 1995-03-01)
    Spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa Lam.), an introduced perennial plant, has invaded large areas of rangeland in the northwestern United States. Grazing animals may disseminate the weed by transporting seeds in their digestive system and depositing them in their feces. In this study percent viability and emergence of spotted knapweed seeds that passed through mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus hemionus) and sheep (Ovis aries) were determined. Percent viability included seeds that germinated and seeds that tested positive with tetrazolium. In the first trial, we pulse dosed 3 mule deer and 4 ewes with 5,000 spotted knapweed seeds each. Seed recovered from manure collected daily for 10 (days after dosing was tested for percent viability. We recovered 11% of the knapweed seeds from the 3 mule deer, and 4% from the sheep. Based on high variability in (0 to 26%) percent viability of recovered seed, we thought that our drying the manure at a 50 degrees C may have killed some of the spotted knapweed embryos. To determine if drying at 50 degrees C affected viability, we pulse dosed 41 rams with 5,000 spotted knapweed seeds each in a second trial. One subsample of manure was washed the same day to recover seeds and then dried at 35 degrees C, a second subsample was dried at d 50 degrees C, washed, and then dried at 35 degrees C. We recovered 17% of the spotted knapweed seeds from the 4 rams. No viable seeds were recovered from manure heated at 50 degrees C, and no viable seeds were recovered more than 2 days after dosing. Percent viability of seeds recovered from manure dried at 35 degrees C ranged from 0 to 22%. In both trials, percent viability of recovered seeds was lower compared with seeds that did not pass through animals. Sheep and mule deer can ingest, transport, and disseminate viable seeds of spotted knapweed in their feces.
  • Sequence of species selection by cattle and sheep on South African sourveld

    O'Reagain, P. J.; Grau, E. A. (Society for Range Management, 1995-07-01)
    The sequence of species selection over the grazing period directly determines the effectiveness of different grazing systems. Knowledge of this sequence is also important in understanding the plant-animal interface. The sequence of tiller defoliation by cattle and sheep was compared for 7 range grasses at 4 different sites in South African sourveld. Defoliation frequency and height was monitored daily over a 6-day grazing period at each site. The sequence of species selection was the same for cattle and sheep although the acceptability of some grasses varied between animal species. Preferred species were always grazed first along with some (<20%) utilization of species of intermediate acceptability. When about 60% of the tillers of the preferred species had been defoliated, regrazing of these tillers commenced and the rate of utilization of intermediate species increased. Only after 80 to 100% of the tillers of preferred and intermediate species had been defoliated were tillers of the least-preferred species grazed. Sheep were more selective and tended to graze the least-preferred species later in the grazing period than did cattle. There was no difference between cattle and sheep in the frequency of tiller defoliation over the grazing period but tillers were defoliat- ed to a lower height (P < 0.01) and more tissue removed (P<0.01) under sheep grazing. Cattle and sheep are therefore likely to differ in their potential impact upon rangeland.

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