• Floristic changes induced by flooding on grazed and ungrazed lowland grasslands in Argentina

      Chaneton, E. J.; Facelli, J. M.; Leon, R. J. C. (Society for Range Management, 1988-11-01)
      Changes in community composition of 2 grassland sites exposed to a flood of unusual intensity and duration were investigated in the Flooding Pampa. These grasslands are subject almost annually to floodings of lesser magnitude. The study sites were adjacent to each other, and differed in vegetation structure and composition. One had been grazed continuously by cattle and was showing signs of intense deterioration. The other had remained ungrazed during 15 years. Basal cover by species was measured in summer, before and after the flooding event. Compositional difference between sites decreased with flooding from 68.9 to 39.1%. In the grazed site the cover of alien forbs was reduced by 48%. After the flooding native graminoids represented 99.7 and 86.7% of the cover, inside and outside the exclosure respectively. Total basal cover was not affected but was redistributed among species already present before the flood. Floristic changes would have led to an improvement of the forage source. We conclude that plant community response to the event was influenced by the previous grazing history of the site. The large flood acted as an overriding environmental factor which partially reverted the effects of grazing upon grassland composition.
    • Germination of green and gray rubber rabbitbrush and their establishment on coal mined land

      Romo, J. T.; Eddleman, L. E. (Society for Range Management, 1988-11-01)
      The objectives of this study were to: (1) determine the effects of temperature and water stress on germination, and; (2) evaluate effects of seeding date on emergence and survival of green and gray rubber rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus nauseosus (Pallas) Britt. subsp. graveolens (Nutt.) Piper. and Chrysothamnus nauseosus (Pallas) Britt. subsp. nauseosus (Nutt.) Piper.). Seeds of both shrubs were incubated at 10, 20, and 30 degrees C in a gradient of osmotic potentials ranging from 0.0 to -1.5 MPa. Seedings were also made in the field on seeding dates over a period of 3 years. Total germination and germination rate declined as temperatures and osmotic potentials decreased; they were highest for both shrubs at 20 and 30 degrees C and lowest at 10 degrees C. Under field conditions seedling populations were limited by low emergence and survival relative to viable seed planted. Emergence and survival of seedlings were highest in an exceptionally wet year, declining in subsequent years that were drier. Emergence ranged from 0 to 6.9% and 0 to 7.1% and survival of emerged seedlings ranged from 6.6 to 55% and 0 to 60% for green and gray rubber rabbitbrush, respectively. Survival of green rubber rabbitbrush was highest from mid-spring plantings, but no distinctively favorable seeding date was found for gray rubber rabbitbrush. Results suggest that seeds of these shrubs should be planted prior to or during periods when seedbed temperatures are in the 20 to 30 degrees C range and soil moisture is expected near its seasonal high.
    • Grazing effects of the bulk density in a Natraquoll of the flooding pampa of Argentina

      Taboada, M. A.; Lavado, R. S. (Society for Range Management, 1988-11-01)
      The influence of grazing by cattle on soil bulk density was studied in a typic Natraquoll of the Flooding Pampa of Argentina for a period of 33 months, by comparing a grazed situation to an enclosure deferred from grazing for 7 years. Floods took place in this period as usual. Bulk density (BD) at -33.3 kPa of water retention varied from 1.00 to 1.11 Mg m-3 in the ungrazed soil and in the grazed soil from 1.04 to 1.16 Mg m-3. Environmental factors were the primary agent controlling BD; only in some periods were there significant differences between treatments. Slight increases in BD occurred under grazing after the recession of the flood water, and significant decreases occurred in the ungrazed soil during the large and sudden falls in water content. In this case the effect of trampling, therefore, would consist mainly of impeding the decrease in BD. No compaction was observed in periods when no flood occurred or while soil remained submerged in water. The results indicated that the variations of bulk density caused by cattle trampling were superimposed on those produced by floods and showed an interaction between the effects of land-use and the particular environmental conditions of the region.
    • Habitat selection and activity patterns of female mule deer in the Front Range, Colorado

      Kufeld, R. C.; Bowden, D. C.; Schrupp, D. L. (Society for Range Management, 1988-11-01)
      Twenty-two adult, female mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus hemionus) were radio-collared with activity sensors and monitored with ground triangulation from mid-November through March, for 3 years (1982-1985) in the foothills west of Fort Collins, Colorado, to test 4 general hypotheses about habitat selection and activity: (1) The proportion of time deer spend feeding and resting varies with time of day. (2) Deer alter their activity patterns in response to environmental influences. (3) Selection of specific vegetation types for feeding and resting varies with time of day. (4) Ecotones are preferred habitats. Deer were monitored during 6-hr sampling periods: sunrise, daytime, sunset, and night. Deer fed most during sunset, night, and sunrise periods and least during the day. Feeding occupied similar proportions of an average deer's time during sunset, night, and sunrise periods. They preferred the grassland type for feeding and resting at night and the mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus) type for both activities during all other periods. Preference deer showed for the ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) type for feeding activity was inversely related to canopy cover. Deer rested most during daytime and night periods. During periods of daylight, deer using the grassland type showed preference for ecotones with certain types offering escape cover. No such preference was observed at night. Deer fed less and rested more when snow depth exceeded 36 cm. No significant differences (P>0.05) in the proportion of time deer devoted to feeding were found in the following comparisons: clear versus cloudy full-moon nights (-50 vs. + 50% cloud cover), full-moon versus new-moon, low versus high wind speeds (0-32 vs. 32-56 km/hr), and warm versus cold temperatures (+18 to -15 vs. -15 to -23 degrees C). No significant relationships were found for the same comparisons in proportion of time devoted to resting.
    • Plant responses to pine management and deferred-rotation grazing in north Florida

      Lewis, C. E.; Tanner, G. W.; Terry, W. S. (Society for Range Management, 1988-11-01)
      Responses of herbaceous and woody plants to combinations of 4 pine management and 4 grazing management systems were tested on a wet-flatwoods site in the pine-wiregrass vegetation type of north Florida. Frequency of occurrence of herbaceous species and foliar cover of woody species were determined in natural stands of 50-year-old slash and longleaf pine (Pinus elliottii Engelm. and P. palustris Mill.) and compared to similar forest sites that were harvested and site prepared by double-chopping and not replanted with slash pine, or replanted to 1,112 trees/ha in single- and double-row configurations. In addition, these sites were ungrazed or grazed using 3 deferred-rotation systems. Prescribed burning in the natural stands increased occurrence of most herbs and stimulated new species to occur, but had little effect on woody plant composition. However, harvesting of pines and double-chopping resulted in the occurrence of many new herbaceous species and increased occurrence of most initially present. Pineland threeawn (Aristida stricta Michx.), the major herb, initially decreased in occurrence with intensive site disturbance. Six years after disturbance, most herbaceous species were declining in occurrence. Grazing or growth of replanted pines had little influence on occurrence of herbaceous species. Both burning and mechanical disturbances initially reduced foliar ground cover of most woody species; however, few species were eliminated from the community. Most woody species were recovering within 6 yr from treatment, but succession was somewhat slower on mechanically treated areas. Survival and growth of planted pines were not affected by grazing, nor did planting configuration affect pine growth.
    • Season of cutting affects biomass production by coppicing browse species of the Brazilian caatinga

      Hardesty, L. H.; Box, T. W.; Malechek, J. C. (Society for Range Management, 1988-11-01)
      This paper reports the effect of season of cutting on coppice biomass production by 5 tree species common in the semiarid caatinga woodlands of northeast Brazil. Trees were cut early and late in the wet and dry seasons and coppice biomass production was monitored for 2 growing seasons after cutting. No mortality occurred as a result of cutting in any season. The effect of season of cutting on subsequent coppice production was most pronounced in the first year but differences persisted into the second year. Production by trees cut late in the wet season lagged behind that of trees cut at any other time. This was true for all species except marmeliero (Croton hemiargyreus Muell. Arg.) during both years. Pau branco (Auxemma oncocalyx Taub.) production was maximized by cutting late in the dry season. Jurema preta (Mimosa acutistipula Benth.) and catingueira (Caesalpinia pyramidalis Tul.) production was maximized by cutting early in the dry season. The season of cutting does not affect marmeliero stem production. Except for the late wet season, no treatment significantly affected sabiá Mimosa caesalpinifolia production. Stem biomass production is affected more by season of cut than is leaf biomass production. The different patterns of response among these species could be the basis of a selective cutting scheme to achieve objectives such as browse and wood production.
    • Species diversity and diversity profiles: concept, measurement, and application to timber and range management

      Lewis, C. E.; Swindel, B. F.; Tanner, G. W. (Society for Range Management, 1988-11-01)
      The concepts and use of several diversity assessments are presented and applied to a practical situation. Burning, mechanical methods of site preparation, and cattle grazing are common disturbances in forests of the South. Their influence on plant diversity indices are examined in a longleaf-slash pine forest of north Florida. Species richness, Shannon's index, and Simpson's index showed increases in diversity shortly following burning and site preparation and a trend toward pre-treatment conditions after 6 years. Deferred-rotation grazing systems had no influence. Comparative diversity profiles showed similar trends but were more informative by providing both qualitative and quantitative information. These techniques are useful for assessing community responses to management practices, that is, they are effective methods for understanding the impacts of forest management and range management practices on plant community structure and succession.
    • Stability of African pastoral ecosystems: Alternate paradigms and implications for development

      Ellis, J. E.; Swift, D. M. (Society for Range Management, 1988-11-01)
      African pastoral ecosystems have been studied with the assumptions that these ecosystems are potentially stable (equilibrial) systems which become destabilized by overstocking and overgrazing. Development policy in these regions has focused on internal alterations of system structure, with the goals of restoring equilibrium and increasing productivity. Nine years of ecosystem-level research in northern Kenya presents a view of pastoral ecosystems that are non-equilibrial but persistent, with system dynamics affected more by abiotic than biotic controls. Development practices that fail to recognize these dynamics may result in increased deprivation and failure. Pastoral ecosystems may be better supported by development policies that build on and facilitate the traditional pastoral strategies rather than constrain them.
    • Stability of grazed patches on rough fescue grasslands

      Willms, W. D.; Dormaar, J. F.; Schaalje, G. B. (Society for Range Management, 1988-11-01)
      Continuous stocking usually leads to the formation of grazed patches. However, the effect of patches on the grassland community is related to their stability. Therefore, we studied the spatial stability of grazed patches on Rough Fescue Grasslands by mapping forage removal classes on 10 sites over a 4-year period, testing stability using the Kappa index (K), and characterizing the soils and vegetation of overgrazed and undergrazed patches. Spatial stability of grazed patches between consecutive years was good (K is greater than or equal to 0.26) on sites experiencing low grazing pressure. However, on sites having high grazing pressure, spatial stability was less consistent between consecutive years (0>K is lesser than or equal to 0.45) and low over a 4-year period (K is lesser than or equal to 0.10). Overgrazed patches were dominated by grazing-resistant seral species, but undergrazed patches were dominated by climax species. Rough fescue (Festuca scabrella) and Parry oat grass (Danthonia parryi) plants were 50% shorter, and forage production was about 35% less, on overgrazed than on undergrazed patches. Soil organic matter, carbohydrates, and depth of Ah horizon were significantly greater on undergrazed patches but urease activity, NO3-N, NH4, and available phosphorus were greater on overgrazed patches. Overgrazed and undergrazed patches were stable in the long term, although patch boundaries fluctuated.
    • Stocking rate effects on intensive-early stocked Flint Hills bluestem range

      Owensby, C. E.; Cochran, R.; Smith, E. F. (Society for Range Management, 1988-11-01)
    • Technical Notes: Separating leaves from browse for use in nutritional studies with herbivores

      Gallagher, J. F.; Barnes, T. G.; Varner, L. W. (Society for Range Management, 1988-11-01)
      A technique has been developed that facilitates removal of green leafy material from stems of shrub species using a thresher. Use of this technique makes possible the rapid removal of leaves from woody species that would otherwise require excessive hand labor.