Cattle Trampling of Crested Wheatgrass Under Short-Duration Grazing
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CitationBalph, D. F., & Malecheck, J. C. (1985). Cattle trampling of crested wheatgrass under short-duration grazing. Journal of Range Management, 38(3), 226-227.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalJournal of Range Management
AbstractThis paper tests 3 predictions that stem from the hypothesis that Angus heifers avoid stepping on crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum) tussocks because the tussocks present an uneven surface upon which to walk: (1) hoofprints are located disproportionately more often in the open spaces between tussocks than on tussocks; (2) the disproportionality persists despite the frequency of hoof prints per unit area; and (3) the more tussocks are elevated above the surrounding substrate, the less they are trampled. The methods relate the observed and expected frequency of hoofprints on tussocks along 2 transects in a crested wheatgrass paddock. The results significantly support all 3 predictions. We conclude that under the conditions that existed, the hoof action hypothesized by some to be of benefit to short-duration grazing pastures was minimal, and so was the hoped-for destruction of standing dead vegetation that deters grazing.