Browsing Journal of Range Management, Volume 40, Number 1 (January 1987) by Subjects
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An Evaluation of Range Condition on One Range Site in the Andes of Central PeruLittle published information is available on the vegetation or its response to grazing in the high elevation (3,900-4,800m) grasslands of the Andes, known as the puna. The objective of this study was to evaluate grazing-induced vegetation changes on a major range site in the puna. Basal cover and diversity were compared on (1) rangelands managed by a cooperative of land holders (moderate grazing); (2) communal grazing land (heavy grazing); and (3) sacrifice or holding pastures (very heavy grazing). Basal cover was determined using point transects. With increased grazing pressure standing height of the vegetation was greatly reduced as was vegetation basal cover. Total cover of grasses was reduced while forb cover increased. Ability of a species to grow close to the soil surface probably enabled it to tolerate very heavy grazing. Species diversity as determined by Simpson's D, Shannon-Weaver's H', and species richness was highest on the community lands.
Dietary Relationships Among Feral Horses, Cattle, and Pronghorn in Southeastern OregonManagement of sympatric ungulates on multiple use lands requires knowledge of how species exploit resources available to them. We examined seasonal food habits, dietary overlap, and dietary quality of sympatric feral horses (Equus caballus), cattle (Bos taurus),, and pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) in south-eastern Oregon from May 1979 through March 1981. Seasonal diets of each ungulate species were determined by microhistological analysis of feces. At least 88% of the mean annual diets of horses and cattle consisted of grasses. Principal species consumed by these ungulates were bottlebrush squirreltail (Sitanion hystrix (Nutt.) J.G.Smith), bearded bluebunch wheatgrass (Agropyron spicatum (Pursh) Scribn. & Smith), and Thurber needlegrass (Stipa thurberiana Piper). Because dietary overlap between horses and cattle was high each season (62-78%), we concluded a strong potential existed for exploitative competition under conditions of limited forage availability. Pronghorn diets consisted largely of woody sagebrush (Artemisia) species in fall and winter, and a mixture of forbs in spring and summer. Dietary overlap between horses and pronghorn varied from 7% (summer) to 26% (winter). Overlap between cattle and pronghorn varied from 8% (winter) to 25% (spring). These lower levels of overlap indicate a wider buffer between noncompetitive coexistence and exploitative competition. Pronghorn generally selected diets containing higher levels of crude protein (CP) and lower levels of acid-detergent fiber (ADF) than horses or cattle. We observed few differences in seasonal dietary quality between horses and cattle.
Grazing System Influences on Cattle Performance on Mountain RangeA 5-year study was conducted to evaluate the influences of rest-rotation, deferred-rotation, and season-long grazing systems on cattle diet botanical composition and quality and weight gains on mountain rangeland in northeastern Oregon. The grazing season in each year lasted from 20 June to 10 October. Esophageally fistulated animals were used to evaluate diet quality and botanical composition. All study pastures included forest, grassland, and meadow vegetation types. Each pasture had a north and southfacing slope divided by a riparian zone and creek. The grazing pressure for each system was similar. Grazing intensity was the same as National Forest Allotments in the area. There were no differences (P>.05) in weight gains among the 3 systems when data were pooled across years. Crude protein, in vitro organic matter digestibility, and acid detergent fiber percentages in fistula samples did not differ (P>.05) among systems for any year of study or for data pooled across years. Mid-season movements of cattle under the rest-rotation system had little influence on their diet and performance compared with cattle under the season-long system. Key forages in cattle diets were Idaho fescue (Festuca idahoensis), bluebunch wheatgrass (Agropyron spicatum), and common snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus). Cattle diet botanical composition under the 3 grazing systems did not differ (P>.05).