• Effects of Livestock Grazing on Infiltration Rates, Edwards Plateau of Texas

      McCalla, G. R.; Blackburn, W. H.; Merrill, L. B. (Society for Range Management, 1984-05-01)
      The influence of short duration grazing (SDG), moderate continuous grazing (MCG), heavy continuous grazing (HCG), and grazing exclusion on infiltration rates of midgrass and shortgrass-dominated communities was evaluated over a 20-month period on the Texas Agricultural Research Station, located near Sonora in the Edwards Plateau, Texas. A combination of cattle, sheep, and goats were used in each grazing treatment. Infiltration rates were consistently less in the midgrass (bunchgrass) than in the shortgrass (sodgrass) community. The HCG pasture was severely overgrazed and infiltration rates were reduced to about one-half those in the MCG pasture. The midgrasses in this pasture were destroyed after 26 months of overgrazing. Infiltration rates in the SDG pasture, stocked at double the recommended rate, decreased during the study period. Infiltration rates in the SDG pasture shortgrass community, near the end of the study, approached those in the HCG pasture. The greatest infiltration rates for both communities were maintained in the MCG pasture. Infiltration rates for the midgrass community remained relatively stable during the study when the general trend in the SDG and HCG pastures was toward reduced infiltration rates. The nongrazed pasture subsequent to the 1980 drought had a general increase in infiltration rates.