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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  • Water balance in pure stand of Lehmann lovegrass

    Frasier, G. W.; Cox, J. R. (Society for Range Management, 1994-09-01)
    Lehmann lovegrass (Eragrostis lehmanniana Nees), an introduced warm season grass, has invaded grasslands in southern Arizona, in many areas replacing the native warm-season grasses. A water balance evaluation in a pure stand of Lehmann lovegrass showed that more soil water was used through evapotranspiration than occurred as precipitation during 2 years of a 3-year study period. During the winter season, an appreciable amount of water was used by Lehmann lovegrass or lost by evaporation from the soil surface. The remaining available soil water was used in the spring dry period. In the dry early spring the soil water contents (to depths of 120 cm) were less than the traditional wilting point tension of -1.5 MPa. The invasion of Lehmann lovegrass into grasslands of southern Arizona is partially related to its ability to utilize soil water during parts of the year when the native species are dormant and also to extract water from the soil profile to very low water contents.
  • Viewpoint: The logic of using tracks and signs in predation incidents where bears are suspected

    Mysterud, I. (Society for Range Management, 1994-03-01)
    Based on recent circumstances in connection with compensation of livestock killed by large, protected carnivores in Norway, this paper discusses what type of logic should be used to establish which animal is the perpetrator. We suggest that the use of a "modus tollens" logic based upon tracks and signs which are not found at the site is invalid for management purposes. Instead, we suggest "modus ponens" logic based upon what is actually found by a carcass.
  • Viewpoint: Integrating CRM (Coordinated Resource Management) and NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) processes

    Swanson, S. (Society for Range Management, 1994-03-01)
    Coordinated Resource Management (CRM) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) each provide an approach for involving the public and resource specialists from many disciplines in public land management decisions. This viewpoint suggests combining the consensus building approach of CRM into the broader public involvement and sometimes more thorough analysis of a NEPA process. The combined process seems most applicable when a diversity of interests want potentially incompatible decisions, especially if those decisions could significantly affect the structure and function of ecosystems or natural-resource-based economies. Fourteen steps in a combined process describe the mechanics and rationale for this integration. To succeed with this process, begin with thorough preparation, then foster open and repeated 2-way communication. Communication with the broader public ensures that all affected interests may contribute ideas. Consensus building with representatives of all resource interests and land ownerships ensures public trust and broadly supported management. Consensus building continues through decision making, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and replanning.
  • Viewpoint: Alternative dispute resolution in public land management

    Torell, D. J. (Society for Range Management, 1994-01-01)
    Alternative dispute resolution is a concept of dispute settlement which uses techniques other than litigation to reduce or resolve conflict. It involves bringing together parties in disagreement to participate in joint decision-making processes which seek win/win solutions. Alternative dispute resolution processes maintain control and authority for agreement in the hands of the parties in dispute. A third party process person is commonly utilized to assist parties in resolving conflicts. The application of alternative dispute resolution techniques in the field of natural resource management is relatively new. A study of environmental disputes found that 78% of the cases where alternative dispute resolution techniques were used, resulted in settlement. There are limitations and benefits to the application of these techniques in the field of natural resource management. Widespread use requires a significant increase in the understanding of alternative dispute resolution concepts and application among natural resource professionals.
  • Vegetative response to burning on Wyoming mountain-shrub big game ranges

    Cook, J. G.; Hershey, T. J.; Irwin, L. L. (Society for Range Management, 1994-07-01)
    Information on vegetative productivity and nutritive responses to burning in mesic, high elevation big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.) communities is limited. We investigated the effects of 2 wildfires and 3 prescribed fires on current year's production of herbs and selected shrubs for 3 years post-burn, and forage quality for 2 years post-burn in high elevation big sagebrush habitats in southcentral Wyoming. Production of perennial herbs on burned sites averaged twice that on controls, while production of annual herbs varied little 2-3 years post-burn. Burn-induced mortality of Saskatoon serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia (Nutt) Nutt. ex Roem.) was less than or equal to 15%, but a 6-fold increase in twig production more than compensated for plant losses. Mortality of true mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus Raf.) and antelope bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata (Pursh) DC) averaged 25% and 55%, respectively, but these losses generally were compensated by increases in browse production. Crude protein content of herbs from late spring through early far was significantly higher on burns for 2 years post-burn. These results suggest well-managed prescribed burning programs have potential to improve May through September diets of large herbivores in southcentral Wyoming mountain-shrub communities.
  • Vegetation characteristics influencing site selection by male white-tailed deer in Texas

    Pollock, M. T.; Whittaker, D. G.; Demarais, S.; Zaiglin, R. E. (Society for Range Management, 1994-05-01)
    We studied the effects of vegetation characteristics in southern Texas on site selection by mature, male white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus Raf.). Thirteen, radio-collared animals were monitored during winter, spring, summer, and fall of 1986-87 and 1987-88 to determine area-usage patterns within each animal's respective seasonal home range. After each season, structural vegetation attributes were measured with transect-oriented data collection techniques inside the most heavily used and unused areas of each animal's home range. Comparisons were made between these areas to determine whether site selection by deer was in response to differing vegetation characteristics. In general, the most heavily used areas possessed a greater amount of woody canopy cover (greater than or equal to 85%), woody species richness (18-20), and horizontal screening cover than areas with no use. In contrast, herbaceous densities did not differ between the most heavily used and unused areas. Consequently, habitat management manipulations conducted specifically for mature male white-tailed deer in southern Texas, should include provisions for creation or maintenance of sites possessing dense woody canopy cover, a high number of woody species and dense horizontal screening cover.
  • Variation of BLM employee attitudes toward environmental conditions on rangelands

    Richards, R. T.; Huntsinger, L. (Society for Range Management, 1994-09-01)
    Using survey data collected as part of a comprehensive reevaluation of the Vale Rangeland Rehabilitation Project in eastern Oregon, this exploratory study examined variation in attitudes of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) employees toward rangeland environmental conditions. Almost one-half of the BLM employees surveyed believed the loss of streamside vegetation (48%) and streambank erosion (42%) were widespread problems on Vale rangelands. Approximately a quarter of the respondents believed rangeland soil loss (24%) and overgrazing (26%) were problems, while only a tenth believed water pollution (10%) was a problem on many or most areas. A composite scale of these attitude toward environmental conditions on rangelands was developed and assessed. The composite scale was regressed on respondents' regional affiliation, length of service, and ideological attitudes towards government role in natural resource management. In contrast to findings from studies for USFS employees, attitudes toward range environmental conditions were not determined by regional affiliation or length of service (P > 0.05). Rather, BLM employee attitudes toward range environmental conditions were found to vary by the interaction of length of service in the agency and attitude toward government's role in regulating water quality (P < 0.05) and managing livestock grazing (P < 0.01). As length of service increases, core beliefs, professional norms, or client constituencies may not polarize employee attitudes but rather moderate them over time. The accumulation of environmental knowledge may also tend to influence environmental attitudes so that ideological attitudes may have a weaker effect as time passes and expertise expands.
  • Ungulate herbivory of willows on Yellowstone's northern winter range

    Singer, F. J.; Mark, L. C.; Cates, R. C. (Society for Range Management, 1994-11-01)
    Effects of unmanaged populations of large mammalian herbivores, especially elk (Cervus elaphus on vegetation is a concern in Yellowstone National Park, since wolves (Canis Lupus) are extirpated, ungulate migrations are altered by human activities and the disruption of natural process is possible. Stands of low, hedged (height-suppressed) willows (Salix spp.) are observed throughout the greater Yellowstone National Park area where high densities of wintering elk or moose (Alces alces) exist. The height of 47% of the willow stands surveyed on Yellowstone's northern winter range has been suppressed. Mean leader use of willows of all heights was (P < 0.05 in the winter of 1987-88, increased to 60% in winter 1988-89, following the drought and fires of 1988, then declined to 44% in 1989-90 and winter 1990-96. Height-suppressed willows (43 +/- 2 cm, mean +/- SE) were about one-half as tall as tall willows (83 +/- 4 cm). Percent twig use of suppressed willows in summer (25%) and winter (59%) was significantly more than for intermediate or tall stands (P < 0.05). Suppressed willows produced about one-fourth the aboveground annual biomass compared to taller willows; even after 27 or 31 years of protection, previously-suppressed willows produced only one-third the aboveground biomass of taller willows, suggesting suppressed willows grow on sites with lower growth potential. Growth conditions for willows on the northern winter range may have declined due to a warmer and drier climate this century, locally reduced water tables—because of the decline on beaver (Castor canadenis), or fire suppression may be responsible for the observed changes. Tall and intermediate-height willows contained higher concentrations of nitrogen and they exhibited more water stress than height-suppressed willows of the same species. More xeric growth conditions this century than last century, especially during the decades of the 1920's, 1930's, and 1980's, may explain the low growth rates and lower chemical defenses against ungulate herbivory for height-suppressed willows. We propose a more xeric climate and locally-reduced water tables likely contributed to the willow declines on the northern winter range, but that the proximate factor in the declines was herbivory by native ungulates.
  • Understanding cause/effect relationships in stocking rate change over time

    Rowan, R. C.; White, L. D.; Conner, J. R. (Society for Range Management, 1994-09-01)
    Decisions made by Texas ranchers over a 10 year period (1980-1990) concerning stocking rate levels were dominated by perceptions about weather. A regression model explained 64% of the variability in stocking rate change over time, with the rainfall/drought variable explaining the majority of variability. As ranchers' perception of a positive rainfall effect increased, so did stocking rates, and vice versa. Although the presence or absence of rainfall cannot be managed per se, proactive stocking decisions should include a strategy for adjusting stocking levels in response to changing environmental conditions. Other factors with significant (alpha = 0.05), albeit trivial, path coefficients on stocking rate change were age, grazing rights (owned vs. leased), traditional stocking rate factors, traditional grazing program factors, and weed/brush information factors. Older ranchers (> 65 years) and ranchers who leased all of their rangeland tended to decrease stocking rates over time. Rangeland operators indicated they considered "improved livestock performance" as the most important benefit from initiating a grazing program. Evidence also suggested that ranchers who rely on their neighbors for advice about weed/brush decisions are not benefitting from the latest technology information. Adoption of economic factors (cost/benefits) for selection of weed/brush technology did not have a significant impact on stocking rates over the 10 year period.
  • Twelve years biomass response in aspen communities following fire

    Bartos, D. L.; Brown, J. K.; Booth, G. D. (Society for Range Management, 1994-01-01)
    Vegetation responses to prescribed fire over a 12-year period are reported for several deteriorating aspen clones in northwestern Wyoming. This study extends earlier work by Bartos and Mueggler (1981) on a prescribed fire intended to regenerate these aspen clones. After 3 years, numbers of suckers were close to pre-burn levels ranging between 10,000 to 20,000 suckers/ha. After 12 years, 1,500 to 2,400 suckers/ha remained at a meager height averaging approximately 0.5 m. The demise of this aspen was attributed to heavy ungulate use, primarily elk. Total undergrowth production increased substantially by the second postfire year and declined slowly after that. Biomass values of 2,130 kg/ha (low burn severity), 2,140 kg/ha (moderate burn severity), and 2,190 kg/ha (high burn severity) were recorded after 12 years. This exceeds preburn production by 23 to 46%. Forbs made up approximately 75% of the undergrowth production after 12 years, which was dominated by a dramatic postburn shift to fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium L.). The remaining production was comprised of approximately 20% grasses and 5% shrubs. Most of the fluctuation in species composition occurred on the high severity burn sites.
  • Toxic alkaloid levels in tall larkspur (Delphinium barbeyi) in western Colorado

    Pfister, J. A.; Manners, G. D.; Gardner, D. R.; Ralphs, M. H. (Society for Range Management, 1994-09-01)
    Consumption of tall larkspur (Delphinium barbeyi L. Huth.) can be fatal to cattle grazing mountain rangeland during summer. Tall larkspur contains many alkaloids, but virtually all the toxicity is caused by methyl succidimido anthranoyl lycoctonine-type (MSAL) diterpenoid alkaloids. We measured the concentration of MSAL alkaloids (% of dry matter) in tall larkspur in various phenological stages during 1990, 1991, and 1992 near Yampa, Colorado. The site represented tall larkspur-infested rangelands on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains. Toxic alkaloid concentrations were greatest (0.4 to 0.6%) early in the growing season (bud stage). Toxic alkaloid concentrations were generally static during the flower and pod stages, or increased during the pod stage. Immature leaves had greater MSAL alkaloid concentrations early in the growing season compared to flowering parts. Alkaloid concentrations in pods were greater than in leaves (P<0.05; pod stage), as pod concentrations increased to 0.4% late in the growing season. In 2 of 3 years, plant parts did not differ in MSAL alkaloid concentrations, although weather conditions differed each year. Concentrations of toxic alkaloids did not seem to influence amounts of tall larkspur consumed by grazing cattle on the same sampling dates. Many livestock producers defer grazing of tall larkspur ranges until the plant is in the pod stage because of a general belief that toxicity is greatly reduced. Our results suggest that grazing tall larkspur ranges during the pod stage may exacerbate cattle losses if MSAL alkaloid concentrations do not decrease, yet consumption by cattle increases.
  • Tiller defoliation patterns under frontal, continuous, and rotation grazing

    Volesky, J. D. (Society for Range Management, 1994-05-01)
    An investigation was conducted to characterize the intensity and frequency of tiller defoliation in 'Plains' Old World bluestem (Bothriochloa ischaemum (L.) Keng) under frontal, continuous, and 2-paddock rotation grazing systems. Frontal grazing allows cattle a continuous opportunity to graze fresh forage via a livestock-pushed sliding fence that allocates and controls grazing within a pasture. Nearly 100% of frontal grazing tillers were defoliated at least once during a 3-hour period as the frontal fence was advanced over the transect ares. The initial defoliation intensity of tillers under frontal grazing was also significantly higher and remaining tiller height less than that of tillers under rotation or continuous grazing (P < 0.05). Tillers under frontal grazing were defoliated at a faster rate compared to rotation or continuous grazing, but cattle had access to them for only 6 to 8 days of the entire grazing season. Season-long defoliation frequency was estimated to be 2.4, 4.6, and 4.7 times for frontal, continuous, and rotation grazing, respectively. Tillers that originated from the perimeter of a tussock were initially taller than those arising from the center (P < 0.05); however, frequency and intensity of defoliation was similar for both tiller locations. Significant relationships were also described between defoliation frequency and stocking rate and between defoliation frequency and herbage allowance. Defoliation frequency increased linearly as stocking rate increased; and conversely, defoliation frequency decreased quadratically as herbage allowance increased. Data from this study suggest that the pattern of tiller defoliation under frontal grazing enhanced forage production which allowed the maintenance of higher stocking rates.
  • The effect of Quercus douglasii removal on understory yield and composition

    Bartolome, J. W.; Allen-Diaz, B. H.; Tietje, W. D. (Society for Range Management, 1994-03-01)
    The canopy of Quercus douglasii H. & A. (blue oak) has been variously reported to enhance or suppress understory production. The effects of canopy removal have been reported only for the northern portion of blue oak's range. We removed all blue oaks from 6 plots in the central coast of California and found no significant change in understory biomass over 3 years. Understory herb cover averaged 32.6% on cleared plots, compared to 24.3% on uncut plots, but composition changed little with the exception of an increase in Erodium cicutarium (L.) L'Her. Clearing did not produce the distinctive species composition and forage enhancement under Q. douglasii canopy reported in other studies, an based on comparisons between unmanipulated canopy and adjacent grassland. Our results suggest that the canopy effect could instead be caused by differences in sites occupied by trees. Clearing of Q. douglasii in regions with 50 cm or less of mean annual precipitation is not recommended for increasing forage production.
  • Technical Note: Mechanical harvesting of plains pricklypear for control and feeding

    Mueller, D. M.; Shoop, M. C.; Laycock, W. A. (Society for Range Management, 1994-05-01)
    Plains pricklypear cactus (Opuntia polyacantha L.) is abundant on the Central Great Plains with dry matter yields from 1,500 to 2,000 kg/ha. Cactus spines prevent cattle from grazing as much as 50% of the herbage around the plant. Pricklypear pads are quite palatable once spines have been removed. The possibility of simultaneously controlling and feeding plains pricklypear led to development of machinery for harvesting cactus. The harvesting machine is a side-delivery rake modified to uproot and windrow pricklypear which is later despined and fed to cattle. Machine harvesting was compared to hand harvesting on both a sandy loam and a clay loam site. There was no significant difference in cactus removal between hand and machine harvested plots or significant damage to desirable forage species. Pricklypear phytomass removal by the harvester averaged 89% and 88% on the sandy and clay loam sites, respectively. This provided an average of 1,166 kg/ha cactus as potential feed and increased availability of desirable forage species.
  • Technical Note: Mechanical despining of plains pricklypear

    Mueller, D. M.; Forwood, J. R. (Society for Range Management, 1994-09-01)
    Plains pricklypear cactus (Opuntia polyacantha L.) is abundant on the Central Great Plains, producing dry matter yields from 1,500 to 2,000 kg/ha. Although pricklypear is high in energy and palatable, long sharp spines make it, and vegetation immediately surrounding it, unavailable to livestock. The possibility of simultaneously controlling and feeding plains pricklypear led to development of machinery for harvesting and despining cactus. The mechanical despiner described here adequately removed spines from pads during periods of low relative humidity. Softening of cactus spines due to high relative humidity resulted in failure of the despiner to adequately remove spines. Cattle readily ate despined cactus in the winter when green forage was unavailable.

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