• Climatic effects on buffelgrass productivity in the Sonoran Desert

      Martin, M. H.; Cox, J. R.; Ibarra-F, F. (Society for Range Management, 1995-01-01)
      Buffelgrass (Cenchrus cilaris L.), a perennial bunchgrass from northcentral Kenya has been successfully seeded on 400,000 ha in northwest Mexico. To determine if carrying capacity increased after buffelgrass introduction we measured live, recent-dead standing, old-dead standing and litter at 2-week intervals for three years. Live biomass was produced throughout the year but peak production, over the 3 years was in August. Peak live biomass production varied from 46S kg/ha in a summer of below-average precipitation to 3,045 kg/ha in a summer of above-average precipitation. Recent- and old-dead standing quantities were highly variable among years and transfers among components were dependent on temperature and precipitation. Buffelgrass annually produces about 3 times more green forage than native grasses.
    • 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.