• Cattle Diets in the Blue Mountains of Oregon II. Forests

      Holechek, J. L.; Vavra, M.; Skovlin, J.; Krueger, W. C. (Society for Range Management, 1982-03-01)
      Esophageally fistulated cows were used on forested range in northeastern Oregon to collect diet samples which were then analyzed by the microhistological technique. Grasses, forbs, and shrubs averaged 61, 16, and 23% of the diet, respectively. Composition of diets differed among years and with seasonal advance. Idaho fescue and elk sedge were the most important forage species consumed. Forbs were used heavily in the early part of the grazing season before maturation. Browse comprised as much as 47% of the diet when green grass was unavailable. Cattle were opportunistic grazers and did not limit their selection to grass species. On forested ranges cattle diets varied among grazing periods within each year as well as among years.
    • Root Biomass on Native Range and Mine Spoils in Southeastern Montana

      Holechek, J. L. (Society for Range Management, 1982-03-01)
      Research was conducted on native range and revegetated strip mine spoils near Colstrip, Montana, in August of 1975 to determine the weight and distribution of root biomass at five locations. Study sites included native range in excellent, good, and poor condition; a naturally revegetated 40-year-old leveled, ungrazed strip mine spoils; and a 5-year seeded and fertilized mine spoils. Total root biomass was highest on the 5-year-old seeded and fertilized mine spoils. Good condition native range had a higher root biomass than excellent or poor condition native range. The root biomass of the 40-year-old mine spoil did not differ from excellent condition native range. Root biomass distribution in the four zones studied did not differ between sites. Over 55% of the root biomass was in the upper 15 cm of the soil profile at all five locations.
    • Sample Preparation Techniques for Microhistological Analysis

      Holechek, J. L. (Society for Range Management, 1982-03-01)
      A study was conducted to determine the influence of sample preparation procedures on the ratio of identifiable to nonidentifiable fragments in diet samples analyzed by microhistological analysis. The number of identifiable fragments on slides was significantly higher when samples were soaked in either bleach or sodium hydroxide in conjunction with use of Hertwig's clearing solution compared to the control, which involved the use of only Hertwig's clearing solution. The percentages by weight of grasses, forbs, and shrubs in two prepared diet samples were more accurately estimated when either sodium hydroxide or bleach was applied in comparison with the control. However, some plant species or plant parts may be destroyed by bleach or sodium hydroxide. Therefore, diet materials should also be examined through standard procedures before the decision is made to apply one of these treatments.