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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  • Willow planting success as influenced by site factors and cattle grazing in northeastern California

    Conroy, S. D.; Svejcar, T. J. (Society for Range Management, 1991-01-01)
    In recent years there has been an increasing emphasis on reestablishment of woody vegetation in degraded riparian zones. In this study we evaluated the influence of grazing and selected site factors on survival and leader growth of planted Geyer willow (Salix geyeriana Anderss.) cuttings. Three grazing treatments (early summer, late summer, and non-use) were evaluated on each of 3 streams in broad, low-gradient meadows with silt loam soils in the northern Sierra Nevada. The streams were perennial with terraces often 1.0 to 1.5 m above streambottom. Unrooted Geyer willow cuttings were planted to 30-cm soil depth in early May 1987 at 3 streamchannel locations (streambottom, streambank, and stream terrace) within each of the grazing treatments. Survival, associated community type, and cover class were determined for 2,700 plantings. Leader length and grazing intensity were measured for 694 surviving cuttings in 1988. Percent soil moisture and water table depth were determined for a subset of the willow cuttings. There was no significant (P>0.05) effect of grazing treatment on either willow survival or growth despite 3.5 to 5 times more defoliation use of the willow cuttings in the grazed pastures. Streamchannel location did significantly (P lesser than or equl to 0.05) affect willow survival (streambottom = 83%, streambank = 34%, and stream terrace = 3%) but not individual plant leader length. Survival of willow cuttings for Carex nebrascensis/Jancas nevadensis, bareground, Des- champsia caespitosa/Carex nebrascensis, and Artemisia sp. dominated sites was 76, 60, 44, and 2%, respectively. However, leader length was significantly (P lesser than or equal to 0.05) greater for bareground sites than for sites supporting vegetation. Cover class was not a good indicator of survival, but as might be expected from the results on the bareground sites, leader length for the 0-5% class was 1.8 times the length of the next class. There was a clear relationship between water table depth, soil moisture, and willow planting survival but not between moisture measurements and leader length. Once the water table has declined to the point that Artemisia sp. can survive on a site, the chances of successfully replanting willows are minimal. However, even during the drought years of this study (<50% of average annual precipitation) a survival rate of 60% or greater was achieved by planting into Carex nebrascensis communities or bareground in the streamchannel.
  • Water relations and transpiration of honey mesquite on 2 sites in west Texas

    Wan, C.; Sosebee, R. E. (Society for Range Management, 1991-03-01)
    Transpiration rates and internal water relationships of honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) were investigated weekly during May through September 1986 on sandy loam and clay loam, both upland sites in west Texas. Average transpiration rates peaked at approximately 7 mmol m-2 s-1 at 1100 hr during wet periods and reached a plateau between 4 and 5 mmol m-2 s-1 between 1200 and 1400 hr. During dry periods, the average transpiration rates reached their maximum plateau of 2 mmol m-2 s-1 at 1000 hr and declined between 1200 and 1600 hr. The transpiration rates ranged from an average of 3.28 +/- 2.05 mmol m-2 s-1 for trees on a sandy loam site to an average of 3.85 +/- 1.94 mmol m-2 s-1 for those on a clay loam site. Stomatal closure in midsummer caused a substantial increase in leaf temperature. Mesquite has developed other means, such as leaf orientation, wax accumulation, and reduction in canopy development, to avoid drought. Stomatal conductance of mesquite is very responsive to soil water availability and dryness of the air, and is less responsive to internal water status. This research further substantiates that mesquite behaves like a facultative phreatophyte in west Texas.
  • Water holding capacity of litter and soil organic matter in mixed prairie and fescue grassland ecosystems of Alberta

    Naeth, M. A.; Bailey, A. W.; Chanasyk, D. S.; Pluth, D. J. (Society for Range Management, 1991-01-01)
    Litter and organic matter accumulations can reduce soil water through interception of precipitation and subsequent evaporation of absorbed water. Interception varies with mass and water holding capacity (WHC) of litter and organic matter, and is highest from small precipitation events. WHC varies with vegetation type, which is affected by grazing regime. Thus long-term grazing could affect WHC of litter and organic matter and would be important in the hydrologic assessment of rangelands subjected to many small precipitation events throughout the growing season. The study was conducted in mixed prairie, parkland fescue, and foothills fescue grasslands in Alberta, Canada. Grazing regimes were of light to very heavy intensities, grazed early, late, and continuously during the growing season. Litter and organic matter were sorted by sieving into various sized categories. Litter-soil cores were also evaluated. WHC of litter and organic matter was lower in mixed prairie than in fescue grasslands. WHC increased with increazed particle size, being higher for roots and standing and fallen litter than for organic matter. WHC of large particle-sized material decreased with heavy intensity and/or early season grazing. WHC was affected more by intensity than season of grazing. Grazing affected WHC through species composition changes, since species have different WHC, and through trampling which affected particle size. It was concluded that litter and organic matter WHC were important in rangeland hydrologic assessments.
  • Vegetational responses of a mixed-grass prairie site following exclusion of prairie dogs and bison

    Cid, M. S.; Detling, J. K.; Whicker, A. D.; Brizuela, M. A. (Society for Range Management, 1991-03-01)
    Combined grazing by black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) and bison (Bison) produces and maintains a series of changes in the vegetation of prairie dog colonies. However, because their grazing patterns differ in frequency and intensity through time, their individual impacts may be different. The objective of this study was to determine the individual and combined influences of these 2 herbivores in maintaining selected vegetation characteristics of a prairie dog colony in a mixed-grass prairie at Wind Cave National Park, S.D. This was assessed by monitoring plant responses during 2 years following exclusion from grazing by 1 or both species. In spite of their different grazing patterns, prairie dogs and bison had similar and independent (i.e., additive) effects in maintaining plant community structure. For example, total above-ground biomass increased 32-36% within 2 years of removal of each species, primarily as a result of increases in accumulation of graminoid biomass. Plant species diversity, equitability, and dominance concentration were similar in all treatments both years, although there were slight decreases in relative abundance of forbs and increases in relative abundance of grominoids in the second year after removal of grazers. Mean graminoid leaf nitrogen concentration (May to September) declined slightly but significantly after removal of prairie dogs (1.49 to 1.38%) in 1985, and after bison exclusion (1.64 to 1.50%) in 1986. We suggest that rate of vegetation change following removal of grazers depends upon weather conditions, plant species composition, and prior intensity and duration of grazing.
  • Vegetation changes following brush control in creosotebush communities

    Morton, H. L.; Melgoza, A. (Society for Range Management, 1991-03-01)
    Changes in herbaceous plant density and canopy cover of creosotebush (Larrea tridentata Sesse & Moc. ex DC) and associated shrubs following brush control treatments were measured in Sonoran and Chihuahuan Desert communities. Treatments were applied in 2 successive years st the Santa Rita Experimental range, Arizona, and 3 locations in Chihuahua, Mexico. Across all locations and years 1.5 kg/ha tebuthiuron (N-[5-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-1,3,4-thiadiazol-2-yl]-N,N'-dimethylurea) > 1.0 kg/ha tebuthiuron= disking = disking with furrowing >2-way railing >0.5 kg/ha tebuthiuron > land imprinting in reducing canopy cover of creosotebush and associated shrubs. At the Santa Rita Experimental Range annual precipitation was above long-term mean in 1982, 1983, 1984, and 1985; and grass density increased on all treated and untreated plots. Annual precipitation was below long-term mean during 1986 and 1987 and grass density decreased on both treated and untreated plots but did not decrease to pre-treatment densities. Forb densities were less than 3 plants/m2 throughout the study, except in 1987 when Russian thistle (Salsola iberica Sennen & Pau) increased on all plots. At the Chihuahuan locations, grass densities usually increased during the first year of the study, but very low precipitation throughout the study caused subsequent reductions in grass and forb densities. In dry years brush control treatments did not increase herbaceous plant density.
  • Technical Notes: The effect of light on adventitious root formation in blue grama

    Roohi, R.; Jameson, D. A.; Nemati, N. (Society for Range Management, 1991-03-01)
    Formation of adventitious roots in blue grama seedlings requires that the node between the subcoleoptile and the coleoptile be exposed to light at the 3-leaf or later stages of development. Thus, adventitious root formation will occur only at or near the soil surface. With continuous light, the subcoleoptile approximated zero length, but for those developed in darkness the usual length was about 1 cm. Under usual range conditions, the time between germination and the 3-leaf stage of development is such that it is rare that both of these events will occur with moist soil conditions, and seedling survival will be infrequent.
  • Technical Notes: A technique to determine seed location in relation to seedbed preparation treatments

    Winkel, V. K.; Roundy, B. A. (Society for Range Management, 1991-01-01)
    Distribution of seeds buried by different seedbed preparation techniques can be determined by seeding small plots at a high rate, wetting the soil and extracting soil cores in plastic vials. Seeds can be located with a dissecting scope when cores are split in half. Although the technique may slightly underestimate the percentage of small buried seeds like those of Lehmann lovegrass (Eragrostis lehmanniana Nees), it permits the analysis of large numbers of samples.
  • Summer habitat use and activity patterns of domestic sheep on coniferous forest range in southern Norway

    Warren, J. T.; Mysterud, I. (Society for Range Management, 1991-01-01)
    Eight domestic sheep (Ovis aries L.) ewes were fitted with radio collars and tracked during the 1985 grazing season in Trysll, Hedmark County, southern Norway. The ewes were relocated 761 times between 11 June until 13 September. All relocations were used to describe activity patterns, and 565 were plotted and used to estimate habitat use. Range use was initially concentrated on and about areas previously referenced by man (e.g., abandoned homesteads, old fields) and on adjacent stands of rich spruce/fern (Picea abies (L) Karsten)/(Dryopteris spp.) forest. This preference was displayed especially during the day; poorer forest types were used more in the evening and at night. As the season progressed, use of the meadow/old-field habitat type declined in favor of the forest types. Activity peaks were at mid-morning and late evening. Animals camped in groups at midday and at night, always further upslope at night than during the day. Sheep were less active in cold, wet weather. Habitat selection and activity patterns observed in this study were similar to those of both wild and domestic sheep studied elsewhere.
  • Substrate relations for rillscale [Atriplex suckleyi] on bentonite mine spoil

    Voorhees, M. E.; Uresk, D. W.; Trlica, M. J. (Society for Range Management, 1991-01-01)
    Rillscale (Atriplex suckleyi), the dominant native invader of bentonite mine spoil in northern Wyoming, is apparently uniquely adapted to this extremely harsh plant growth substrate. The objective of this study was to determine which chemical properties of spoil influence growth of rillscale. Plant production, foliar and spoil chemistry on spoils were treated as a factorial arrangement of treatments, each of 3 spoil amendments (gypsum, fertilizer, sawdust). Regression analyses with analysis of covariance and factorial analysis of variance model were used to control for effects of amendments on plant production. Calcium and nitrogen were growth-limiting nutrients for this plant. The species was very sensitive to an increase in the level of spoil molybdenum and in the ratio of copper to molybdenum, but was very tolerant of high levels of soluble sodium. Rillscale acted as a molybdenum accumulator.
  • Some effects of precipitation patterns on mesa dropseed phenology

    Gibbens, R. P. (Society for Range Management, 1991-01-01)
    Phenology of mesa dropseed [Sporobolus flexuosus (Thurb.) Rydb.] was studied from 1979 to 1987 on the Jornada Experimental Range in southern New Mexico. Growing season (March through November) precipitation ranged from 99 to 308 mm during the 8-year period. Foliage height and number of leaves were recorded weekly for individually marked culms on 20 plants. New culms usually appeared during the first week in March and green leaf tissue often persisted until the end of November. Correlation analyses of accumulated weekly height increments and accumulated weekly precipitation showed that growth was highly dependent upon rainfall (r = 0.81 to 0.97). Leaf formation was also correlated with rainfall (r = 0.79 to 0.98). Even in relatively wet years tbere were 1 or 2 periods of no growth. In drier years, no growth periods totaled as much as 87 days. Periods of rapid growth occurred only after rainfall events > 13 mm. The first exsertion of seed heads occurred as early as the last week of July and as iate as the second week of October. The temporal plasticity of mesa dropseed phenology indicates that it is well adapted to the arid environment.
  • Seedstalk production of mountain big sagebrush enhanced through short-term protection from heavy browsing

    Wagstaff, F. J.; Welch, B. L. (Society for Range Management, 1991-01-01)
    Mountain big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. vaseyana Nutt.) is an important browse species on many key mule deer winter ranges in the western United States. Big sagebrush on many of those ranges is declining due to the lack of recruitment. Plants subjected to heavy 0 8% use) browsing produce 50 to 93% fewer seedstalks than those not subject to such use. The objectives of this study were to determine: (1) whether protection from browsing for 1 winter would increase the number of seedstalks the following fall; (2) if protection increased length of seedstalk; (3) if there is a relationship between seedstalk length and number of seeds per seedstalk; and (4) if increasing seed production increased seedling establishment. Fifty-eight plots containing 344 plants at 4 sites in north-central Utah were established. At each plot, plants were randomly assigned to be either protected or browsed. The protected plants produced significantly (P<0.05) more seedstalks than those browsed during the previous winter. Length of seedstalks on a given plant and among plants showed considerable variation, and the data indicated no clear differences between average seedstalk length on browsed and protected plants. Seed per unit length of seedstalk was also highly variable. No seedlings were found during 7 years of observations of the original plot or in 4 years for the 57 plots established in 1986, regardless of the numbers of seedstalks on a plant. Seed production does not appear to be a limiting factor in seedling establishment for the study populations.
  • Response of tap- and creeping-rooted alfalfas to defoliation patterns

    Gdara, A. O.; Hart, R. H.; Dean, J. G. (Society for Range Management, 1991-01-01)
    Under grazing, creeping-rooted alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) cultivars have been reported to be more productive and have higher survival than tap-rooted cultivars. To determine if differences in persistence could be related to response to defoliation patterns, we clipped 3 tap- and 3 creeping-rooted alfalfa cultivars. Different fractions of the total number of stems were clipped to different stubble heights every 21 days. Both tap- and creeping- rooted cultivars responded similarly to defoliation. Maximum forage production was obtained when one-third of the stems on a plant were cut back to 5 cm above the ground at each harvest. The lowest forage production was obtained when all stems on a plant were cut back to 5 cm. The most lenient defoliation (one-third of the height of one-third of the stems removed at each harvest) maximized total herbage production (forage plus stubble) but only 32% of the herbage was harvested as forage, leaving 68% as unharvested stubble. Severe defoliation every 21 days decreased the concentration of total nonstructural carbohydrate in the roots and reduced total root biomass. Thirteen alfalfa cultivars responded similarly to grazing when seeded in dense stands. The greater persistence of creeping-rooted alfalfa cultivars under grazing does not appear to be a result of greater intrinsic productivity or more rapid recovery from defoliation. The lateral spread of individual creeping-rooted plants in open stands may increase the probability that some stems will escape defoliation at each grazing; these stems then contribute to rapid recovery from grazing and to plant survival.
  • Response of cottontail rabbit populations to herbicide and fire applications on cross timbers rangeland

    Lochmiller, R. L.; Boggs, J. F.; McMurry, S. T.; Leslie, D. M.; Engle, D. M. (Society for Range Management, 1991-03-01)
    Knowledge of how resident wildlife populations respond to brush management strategies is especially limited for rangelands in the cross timbers vegetation type of Oklahoma. We examined how cottontail rabbit (Sylvilagus floridanus) density and habitat use were influenced by applications of tebuthiuron or triclopyr, with and without annual burning, on cross timbers rangeland. Line transect flush-counts, mark-recapture livetrapping, and fecal pellet counts were used to evaluate seasonal differences in population density among 5 brush control treatments. Cottontail rabbits (n = 225) were flushed along 362 km of line transects during 5 census periods. Density in winter was consistently lower than summer for all treatments, except for the untreated control in winter 1987. Line transect density estimates varied from 0 to 1.975 rabbits/ha and suggested that herbicide and annual burning treatments had a positive influence on cottontail rabbit populations compared to untreated controls. Mark-recapture density estimates did not differ among treatments. Fecal pellet counts were greater on herbicide-treated pastures than an untreated control in both spring and fall. Prairie-eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana L.) and forest-prairie ecotone habitats were utilized greater than expected by cottontail rabbits. Mature hardwood overstory and mixed-brush habitats were avoided. Tebuthiuron and triclopyr effectively deceased hardwood overstory and increased preferred habitats for cottontail rabbits.

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