Browsing Journal of Range Management, Volume 38, Number 3 (May 1985) by Authors
Response of Vegetation of the Northern Great Plains to Precipitation Amount and Grazing IntensityOlson, K. C.; White, R. S.; Sindelar, B. W. (Society for Range Management, 1985-07-01)Changes in basal cover of vegetation were predicted in response to variation in precipitation and grazing intensity. Multiple regression analysis was used with basal cover as a dependent variable and precipitation parameters as independent variables to develop predictive equations. Predicted cover values were used to develop three dimensional response surfaces which describe individual species responses to fluctuating precipitation and different grazing intensities. Results indicate that each species reacts to precipitation regimes and grazing pressure in a unique manner. Continual changes in basal cover can be expected in the plant community as the precipitation regime changes. Moderate grazing intensity, approximately 0.92 ha (2.3 acres) per AUM, appears to be most conducive for maintaining vegetative cover that is desirable for livestock production. However, stocking rate changes need to be anticipated and planned to coincide with available forage because of large fluctuations in cover due to varying precipitation.