Vegetation and Litter Changes of a Nebraska Sandhills Prairie Protected from Grazing
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CitationPotvin, M. A., & Harrison, A. T. (1984). Vegetation and litter changes of a Nebraska Sandhills prairie protected from grazing. Journal of Range Management, 37(1), 55-58.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalJournal of Range Management
AbstractEnd of season components of biomass and litter were measured on a Nebraska Sandhills prairie site to follow vegetation changes during the first 4 years following the cessation of intense livestock grazing. The 1977-1980 mean annual end of season biomass at Arapaho Prairie, a Sandhills prairie site, was 109 g/m2. Summer grazing on Arapaho Prairie was terminated in 1977, and as a result, significant increases in the biomass of the deep-rooted, palatable warm-season (C4) grasses, sand bluestem, little bluestem and switchgrass, have occurred since then. The biomass of the shallowly rooted C4 grama grasses for the 4-year period was significantly correlated with growing season precipitation. Significant decreases in end of season biomass of the cool-season (C3) grasses during the same 4-year period were highly correlated with yearly decreases in May precipitation. Following the removal of grazing, litter increased from 40 to 127 g/m2 from 1977 to 1980. A nonsignificant yearly increase in litter production occurred in the third year after grazing as a steady state of litter production and decomposition was approached.