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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Satellite-based herbaceous biomass estimates in the pastoral zone of Niger

    Wylie, B. K.; Denda, I.; Pieper, R. D.; Harrington, J. A.; Reed, B. C.; Southward, G. M. (Society for Range Management, 1995-03-01)
    Pastoralists in the Sahel of northern Africa are entirely dependent on their livestock, which graze on the annual vegetation produced during a relatively short summer rainfall season. The satellite-based normalized difference vegetation index, calibrated with ground-truth sampling of herbaceous biomass throughout the pastoral zone of Niger, was used to estimate standing biomass for the entire Nigerien pastoral zone. Data were obtained and analyzed during a 5-year period from 1986 through 1990. Techniques developed allow officials with the Government of Niger to estimate herbage available to support animal populations throughout the pastoral zone at the end of the growing season and plan grazing strategies for the impending dry season. End-of-season herbage standing crop varied from less than 200 kg ha-1 to nearly 1,700 kg ha-1 with locations and years. Strong biomass gradients were evident from mesic conditions in the southern pastoral zone to xeric conditions in the north.
  • Redberry juniper-herbaceous understory interactions

    Dye, K. L.; Ueckert, D. N.; Whisenant, S. G. (Society for Range Management, 1995-03-01)
    Basal cover, density, biomass, and species richness of the understory were measured in concentric zones from the stem bases of large redberry juniper (Juniperus pinchotii Sudw.) trees to 6 m beyond their canopy edges on a shallow, rocky soil and 2 deep soils in the northern Edwards Plateau of Texas. The juniper-driven successional processes of tree dominance, debilitation of understory dominants, influx of subsidiary species, and the general reduction in diversity, density, and biomass of the herbaceous species were evident on all 3 sites. Juniper interference intensified with increasing proximity to the stem bases. Biomass and basal cover of the herbaceous understory responded to a greater extent than did density and species richness 2 years after large redberry junipers were killed with soil injections of picloram (4-amino-3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinecarboxylic acid). Herbaceous biomass responses after junipers were killed indicated that the sphere of influence of large junipers was more extensive on the shallow soil than on the deep soils. Herbaceous biomass in the presence of interference by large junipers on the Kimbrough, Angelo clay loam, and Tulia loam soils was 1,300, 1,780, and 1,290 kg ha-1, respectively, compared to 2,140, 2,140, and 1,560 kg ha-1 2 years after the junipers were killed on the 3 sites, respectively. Projected herbaceous biomass when juniper populations on the sites develop into closed-canopy woodlands was 320, 880, and 270 kg ha-1 for the Kimbrough, Angelo clay loam, and Tulia loam soils, respectively.
  • President’s Address: Defining failures and successes

    Fischbach, David (Society for Range Management, 1995-03-01)
  • Predicting flowering of 130 plants at 8 locations with temperature and daylength

    White, L. M. (Society for Range Management, 1995-03-01)
    An improved plant phenological method is needed to accurately predict flowering of a large array of plant species at locations with a wide range of latitude. Degree days or degree days times daylength cannot be used to accurately predict flowering of both early and late flowering species when grown at locations with wide range of latitude. Published flowering dates of 130 plant species from among 8 locations in central North America ranging in latitude from 39 to 50 degrees N and longitude 84 to 108 degrees W were used to develop a degree days times daylength factor to predict flowering dates. Plants flowering in late June flowered at the same time at all 8 locations regardless of latitude. Species flowering earlier than late June flowered earlier at southern locations than those at Treesbank, Manitoba. Species flowering after late June flowered later at southern locations than those at Treesbank. Flowering of 124 species divided among 8 locations was most accurately predicted by the accumulation of degree days (threshold = 2 degrees C) times daylength factor (1/(0.259-0.0140*daylength) from the first of December. This method slightly discounts daylength below 13 hours and greatly increased its weight for every hour over 13 hours. This method predicted flowering dates with a standard deviation of 0.1, 0.5, -1.7, 2.4, -0.1, 6.0, -1.8, and -1.1 days for Swift Current, Saskatchewan; Treesbank, Manitoba; Sidney, Mont.; Fargo, N.D.; Sauk and Dane Co., Wisc.; Wauseon, Ohio; and Manhattan, Kans.; respectively. Degree days or degree days times daylength had a standard deviation of 10 and 18 days in predicting flowering dates at Manhattan, Kans.
  • Nitrogen and atrazine on shortgrass: Vegetation, cattle and economic responses

    Hart, R. H.; Shoop, M. C.; Ashby, M. M. (Society for Range Management, 1995-03-01)
    Application of nitrogen (N) fertilizer and atrazine [6-chloro-N-ethyl-N'-(l-methylethyl)-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine] have each increased grazeable forage on shortgrass prairie, but their effects are unknown when applied in combination. Therefore, a 9-year study was conducted to determine effects of N and atrazine applications on 1) herbage production, 2) steer gains, and 3) profitability of grazing on shortgrass prairie in north-central Colorado. Treatments were 1) untreated control, 2) atrazine applied at 1.1 kg ha-1 in the autumn of alternate years, 3) N applied at 22 kg ha-1 each autumn, and 4) N + atrazine at the rates specified above. Pastures were stocked at 21-41 (control), 27-54 (atrazine), 24-82 (N), or 18-84 (N + atrazine) cattle-days ha-1 during summer. Pastures were stocked with yearling steers 1979-1983 and yearling steers and spayed heifers 1984-1985, using put-and-take stocking. All treatments increased total October standing crop and blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis [H.B.K.] Lag. ex Griffiths) standing crop. Nitrogen increased cool-season grass and forb standing crops; atrazine nearly eliminated cool-season grasses but did not affect forbs. Under put-and-take stocking, atrazine and/or N appeared to increase stocking rate and gain/ha, but not average daily gain or average returns to land, labor, and management. Under optimum stocking rates and grazing strategies, N or atrazine but not both together might increase returns.
  • Near infrared reflectance spectroscopy estimation of 13C discrimination in forages

    Clark, D. H.; Johnson, D. A.; Kephart, K. D.; Jackson, N. A. (Society for Range Management, 1995-03-01)
    Forage improvement programs often select for increased crude protein and dry matter digestibility. Additionally, breeding programs may be interested in selecting for enhanced transpiration efficiency or water use-efficiency. Forage crude protein and dry matter digestibility are commonly determined by near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS), whereas water use-efficiency is estimated from 13C discrimination values obtained from isotope-ratioing mass spectrometers. If NIRS could predict 13C discrimination then W could be determined simultaneously with quality components at a much lower cost. To test this possibility, leaf samples of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) and several cool-season perennial grasses were analyzed with a dual-inlet, double collector gas isotope mass spectrometer, and values of 13C discrimination were calculated. Subsamples were scanned with monochromators that collected spectra from 400 to 2,500 nm or 1,100 to 2,500 nm, and absorption data were regressed with values of 13C discrimination. Standard errors of calibration for regressing 13C discrimination with NIRS absorption values were higher for grasses than for alfalfa. Coefficients of variation for all validation sample sets used for prediction of 13C discrimination by NIRS were less than 3%, and NIRS correctly identified 77 to 82% of the samples with the lowest 13C discrimination values as determined by mass spectrometer analysis. This level of predictability may be acceptable for identification of genotypes with high water use-efficiency during the early phases of forage improvement programs.
  • Measurements of water use by prairie grasses with heat balance sap flow gauges

    Senock, R. S.; Ham, J. M. (Society for Range Management, 1995-03-01)
    Direct and continuous measurements of water use by range grasses are needed by both range scientists and land managers. This study tested a heat balance sap flow gauge on individual culms of the tallgrass prairie species big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii Vitman) and indiangrass [Sorghastrum nutans (L.) Nash]. Gauge performance was evaluated on potted plants in the laboratory, greenhouse, and field by comparing sap flow to gravimetric measurements of transpiration. In the laboratory, gauge-measured water loss was consistently within +/- 10% of gravimetric measurements for both species at flow rates less than or equal to 4 g hour-1. The first-order time constant of the gauge was calculated to be < 20 seconds. In the greenhouse, sap flow estimates were consistently below gravimetric water loss and negative flows were often computed because of suspected errors in the radial heat flux component. Laboratory data showed that despite the gauge being surrounded with insulation, errors in the heat balance could occur because of external air temperature changes. In the field, environmental alterations in the stem energy balance affected the accuracy of gauges placed outside a plant canopy, but accurate measurements did occur when the plants were placed within a plant canopy. Heat transfer analysis indicated that foam insulation should be 20 to 25 mm thick to minimize the effect of the environment on gauge performance.
  • Indiangrass and caucasian bluestem responses to different nitrogen sources and rates in the Ozarks

    Brejda, J. J.; Brown, J. R.; Hoenshell, C. L. (Society for Range Management, 1995-03-01)
    Alternatives to cool-season grasses are needed for summer forage production on droughty, infertile soils in the Ozarks. The objective of this research was to compare nitrogen (N) sources and application rates for improving forage production, crude protein concentration, and apparent fertilizer N recovery by 'Rumsey' indiangrass [Sorghastrum nutans (L.) Nash] and caucasian bluestem [Bothriochloa caucasia (Trin.) C.E. Hubbard]. Pure stands of each species were treated with urea, NH4NO3, or (NH4)2SO4 at 0, 56, 112, and 168 kg N ha-1 from 1985-1987. In 1988 the (NH4)2SO4 treatment was discontinued and in 1990 the N rates were increased to 0, 78, 157, and 235 kg N ha-1. Forage yields, crude protein concentrations or both were greater with NH4NO3 compared to urea in 3 out of 6 years for indiangrass and 4 out of 6 years for caucasian bluestem. Indiangrass forage yields increased with increasing N rates up to 168 kg N ha-1. Caucasian bluestem forage yields peaked at 101 kg N ha-1 in 1985, 132 kg N ha-1 in 1986, 122 kg N ha-1 in 1987, 129 kg N ha-1 in 1989, and 161 kg N ha-1 in 1990. Crude protein concentrations of both species increased linearly with N rates in most years. At the lowest N rate (56 kg N ha-1) caucasian bluestem was more efficient than indiangrass in apparent fertilizer N recovery, but at greater N rates the 2 species were similar in fertilizer N recovery. Forage yield and crude protein concentration of both species responded similarly to (NH4)2SO4 and NH4NO3.
  • Impacts of defoliation on tiller production and survival in northern wheatgrass

    Zhang, J.; Romo, J. T. (Society for Range Management, 1995-03-01)
    Although northern wheatgrass (Agropyron dasystachyum (Hook.) Scribn.) is a dominant or co-dominant species that decreases under grazing in northern Mixed Prairie, little is known about its response to herbage removal at different times during the growing season. The objective of this research was to determine the effects of defoliation on the tiller production and survival of this native perennial on a clayey range site in mixed prairie in south-central Saskatchewan. Vegetation was subjected to a factorial experiment with an initial defoliation in early-May, June, July, or August and repeated at 2- or 6-week intervals until mid-September in the same plots for 3 years. An undefoliated control was also included. On average defoliation enhanced tillering (71%) and survival relative to the control, and tiller recruitment was greatest during June and September 1989. Generally tiller survival decreased as the date of emergence in the growing season was delayed. Numbers of tillers emerging was positively correlated with soil water (r = 0.77). Some tillers of northern wheatgrass lived 5 years. The 2- and 6-week intervals of defoliation had little influence on tiller survival, but initiating defoliation near the time of tiller emergence reduced survival whereas delaying defoliation until August increased their survival. Increased tillering may be an adaptive feature enabling northern wheatgrass to tolerate defoliation by re-establishing lost photosynthetic area and maintaining or even increasing basal area. Thus, once released from grazing it may rapidly increase phytomass production in a relatively short time. Delaying grazing until August will maximize tiller survival of northern wheatgrass.
  • Genetic variation and inheritance characteristics for carbon isotope discrimination in alfalfa

    Johnson, D. A.; Rumbaugh, M. D. (Society for Range Management, 1995-03-01)
    The negative correlation between carbon isotope discrimination and water-use efficiency in C3 species, including alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), suggests that carbon isotope discrimination that might be useful in the selection of alfalfa cultivars that use water more efficiently. We initiated field experiments with alfalfa in northern Utah to determine genetic variation for carbon isotope discrimination within representative breeding populations, the effect of drought on carbon isotope discrimination, magnitudes of heritability for carbon isotope discimination, genetic regulation of carbon isotope discrimination, and how carbon isotope discrimination differs among plant parts. In an experiment conducted under a rainout shelter facility equipped with a line-source sprinkler system, genetic variability for carbon isotope discrimination was not detected in 15 clones each from the NC-83-1 germplasm and 'Spredor 2' cultivar. In another experiment with 25 clones from the NC-83-1 germplasm, there was significant (P < 0.01) genetic variation for carbon isotope discrimination with a range of 1.6 per thousand, and broad-sense heritabilities exceeded 0.80. In a field trial with 78 cultivars and elite breeding lines, significant genetic variation for carbon isotope discrimination was observed, although the range for carbon isotope discrimination was only 0.8 per thousand. We also detected significant genetic variation for carbon isotope discrimination in a diallel experiment with 196 crosses from 14 parent clones from NC-83-1. Furthermore, general combining ability was significant, but specific combining ability and reciprocal effects were not, indicating that standard breeding techniques could be used to alter carbon isotope discrimination response in alfalfa. Plant parts differed significantly for carbon isotope discrimination with stems having the lowest value (18.7 per thousand) followed by the entire shoot (19.0 per thousand), upper leaves (19.4 per thousand), and bottom leaves (20.2 per thouand). The lack of significant statistical interactions among plant parts suggested that any plant part could be sampled to determine carbon isotope discrimination. The results from these experiments indicated that promise exists for using carbon isotope discrimination to improve water-use efficiency in alfalfa; however, use of more diverse germplasm may be necessary to expand opportunities for selection in North American alfalfa germplasm.
  • Gas exchange and water relations of Lemmon's willow and Nebraska sedge

    Svejcar, T. J.; Trent, J. D. (Society for Range Management, 1995-03-01)
    There is considerable interest in riparian zones in the western United States, yet little information is available on the autecology of plant species that dominate these areas. We measured gas exchange and xylem water potential of Nebraska sedge (Carex nebrascensis Dewey) and Lemmon's willow (Salix lemonii Bebb) growing in a streamside location in the northern Sierra Nevada over a 2 year period. Standing biomass of both species and leaf area index of Lemmon's willow was also determined. Rooting activity of Nebraska sedge was measured the second year of the study. Measurements were taken during 1988 and 1989 with growing season precipitation 46% and 110% of average, respectively. Photosynthesis was remarkably similar for the 2 species (10.9 and 11.1 micromoles m-2 second-1 for Nebraska sedge and Lemmon's willow, respectively) when averaged over all dates for the 2 years. However, the 2 species exhibited different seasonal and yearly patterns of photosynthesis. Nebraska sedge maintained higher rates of photosynthesis during the early portion of the growing season and Lemmon's willow had higher photosynthesis during mid to late summer. Mean seasonal rates of willow photosynthesis were higher than those of the sedge during the drought year, and the opposite was true during the average year. Yearly average photosynthesis varied more for the sedge than for the willow. However, mean seasonal photosynthesis rates for each species were higher in an average year compared to a drought year. Nebraska sedge almost always had more negative values of xylem water potential than Lemmon's willow (overall average was -2.6 MPa and -1.25 MPa for Nebraska sedge and Lemmon's willow, respectively). Trends in transpiration and conductance were similar among species, except that Nebraska sedge maintained higher rates than Lemmon's willow during the spring of 1989. Willow biomass was similar among years, but willow leaf area index and sedge biomass were slightly greater in the wet year (1989) compared to the dry year. Contrasting growth forms and morphology of the 2 species may help explain differences in gas exchange and xylem water potential. The ability of willows to tap groundwater and the concentration of sedge roots in the upper soil profile probably accounts for the differential response to drought.
  • Assessing the power of the point-line transect to monitor changes in plant basal cover

    Brady, W. W.; Mitchell, J. E.; Bonham, C. D.; Cook, J. W. (Society for Range Management, 1995-03-01)
    To assess the power of point data (collected systematically at each meter along a permanently-situated, 100-m line transect) to detect actual changes in plant basal cover, we developed a computational approach whereby a simplified shortgrass steppe community was spatially simulated on a computer screen. Cover was then reduced using a random disturbance pattern. One transect could detect an actual decrease in cover from 12% to 8% with less than 20% probability, while 5 transects increased this power to about 80% (P less than or equal to .05). A reduction in cover from 12 to 6% could be detected with 80% probability with only 2 transects, while a cover reduction to 10% could only be detected with 40% probability using 10 transects (P less than or equal to .05). Artificial populations provide a valuable mechanism for quantitatively evaluating field sampling designs.
  • Amino acid concentrations in seed of preferred forages of bobwhites

    Boren, J. C.; Lochmiller, R. L.; Leslie, D. M.; Engle, D. M. (Society for Range Management, 1995-03-01)
    Nutritional factors have been hypothesized to regulate gallinaceous bird populations such as the Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus). Although protein is considered one of the most important and limiting nutrient categories in wild animal populations, we lack a complete understanding of the availability of essential amino acids in foodstuff protein. Seed grains comprise a major component of the annual diet of bobwhites throughout its geographic range. We investigated the concentration of 17 amino acids in seed of 4 highly preferred forages of bobwhites from central Oklahoma. The total nitrogen content of seed was composed of 28-43% nonamino nitrogen of limited nutritional value. We provide evidence that crude protein may grossly overestimate true protein. Amino acid content of forages in lieu of crude protein may better describe the nutritional ecology of quail and other gallinaceous birds and provide new insights into the role of nutrition in regulating animal populations.