• Composition and production of California oak savanna seasonally grazed by sheep

      Bartolome, J. W.; McClaran, M. P. (Society for Range Management, 1992-01-01)
      Seasonal grazing trials, conducted over 3 years at the Hopland Field Station in Mendocino County, Calif., tested the effects of 2 seasonal grazing strategies on within- and between-year production and composition in blue oak (Quercus douglasii H.A.) savanna understory and adjacent open annual grassland. Moderate intensity summer-fall-winter and spring-summer sheep use had few within-year effects. In contrast, production and composition varied considerably between years in both treatments. Forbs (especially legumes) decreased in open grassland and oak understory between years within both seasonal grazing regimes. This change could not have been caused by selective grazing because there were no corresponding within-year patterns. Instead, between-year changes are more likely related to nonselective effects of stocking rate and/or weather. Results from this study suggest that seasonal grazing systems offer little potential for improvement of annual range composition.