• Effects of Short-Term Cattle Exclusion on Plant Community Composition: Prairie Dog and Ecological Site Influences

      Field, Aaron; Sedivec, Kevin; Hendrickson, John; Johnson, Patricia; Geaumont, Benjamin; Xu, Lan; Gates, Roger; Limb, Ryan (Society for Range Management, 2016-12-01)
      On the Ground • Maintaining cattle and prairie dogs on rangelands is important ecologically, economically, and culturally. However, competition between these species, both actual and perceived, has led to conflict. • We explored the effects of short-term (2-year) cattle exclusion on plant communities both on and off prairie dog towns and among three common ecological sites. • Plant communities were different between on-town and off-town plots and among ecological sites but were similar between cattle-excluded and nonexcluded plots. • Plant community composition did not differ between rangeland targeted for moderate forage utilization and that in which cattle had been excluded for 2 years.