• Forage and Weather Influence Day versus Nighttime Cow Behavior and Calf Weaning Weights on Rangeland

      Sawalhah, M.N.; Cibils, A.F.; Maladi, A.; Cao, H.; Vanleeuwen, D.M.; Holechek, J.L.; Rubio, C.M.B.; Wesley, R.L.; Endecott, R.L.; Mulliniks, T.J.; et al. (Society for Range Management, 2016)
      We determined the effects of two forage allowance levels (LOW vs. HIGH) and weather conditions on daytime and nighttime movement patterns of young rangeland-raised cows. We also investigated whether calf weaning weights (n = 42) were significantly related to postcalving movement patterns of the dam. Global positioning system data were collected over 4 years by recording 5-min interval locations of 52 crossbred cows grazing a 146-ha woodland/grassland pasture for approximately 20 days. The pasture was stocked moderately in 2004 (73 AUMs) and 2005 (78 AUMs) and lightly in 2006 (34 AUMs) and 2007 (32 AUMs). Estimated forage allowance was lowin 2004 and 2005 (347 and 438 kg herbage · cow-1, respectively) and high in 2006 and 2007 (1104 and 1884 kg herbage · cow-1, respectively). We calculated distance traveled, path sinuosity, woodland preference, and area explored for each cow during 24 h (D + N), daytime (DAY), and nighttime (PRE dawn and POST sunset) periods. Cows in LOW traveled farther than counterparts in HIGH during D + N and DAY (P < 0.01) periods but traveled shorter or similar distances during POST (P = 0.05) and PRE (P = 0.29) nighttime periods, respectively. Cows in LOW exhibited more sinuous movement paths than cows in HIGH during DAY, PRE, and POST periods (P < 0.01). Cows in LOW explored larger areas and spent more time in woodlands than counterparts in HIGH (P < 0.01). Weather factors associated with thermal comfort affected daily variation in both daytime and nighttime movement patterns of cows. A dam's movement patterns in the weeks immediately following calving were correlated (P < 0.01) with steer but not heifer calf WW. Moderate stocking rates (LOW treatment) induced behaviors that resulted in higher woodland preference and heavier steer calf WW. © 2016 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    • Corrigendum to Temperature and Precipitation Affect Steer Weight Gains Differentially by Stocking Rate in Northern Mixed-Grass Prairie (Rangeland Ecology & Management (2013) 66 (438-444))

      Reeves, J.L.; Derner, J.D.; Sanderson, M.A.; Petersen, M.K.; Vermeire, L.T.; Hendrickson, J.R.; Kronberg, S.L. (Society for Range Management, 2016)
    • Factors Influencing Winter Mortality Risk for Pronghorn Exposed to Wind Energy Development

      Taylor, K.L.; Beck, J.L.; Huzurbazar, S.V. (Society for Range Management, 2016)
      Evaluating the influence of energy development on pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) winter mortality risk is particularly critical given that northern populations already experience decreased survival due to harsh environmental conditions and increased energetic demands during this season. The purpose of our study was to evaluate pronghorn mortality risk over 3 winters (2010, 2010-2011, 2011-2012) on a landscape developed in 2010 for wind energy production (Dunlap Ranch) in south-central Wyoming, United States. We obtained locational data and survival status of 47 adult female pronghorn captured and equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS) transmitters. Overall, 17 pronghorn died during winter seasons, with 76.4% (13) of deaths occurring during the winter with highest snow accumulation (2010-2011). Survival (Š) was lowest in winter 2010-2011 (Š = 0.53, 90% confidence interval [CI]: 0.37-0.70) and highest in winters 2010 (Š = 0.97, 90% CI: 0.92-1.00) and 2011-2012 (Š = 0.91, 90% CI: 0.82-1.00). We modeled mortality risk for pronghorn using Cox's proportional hazards model inclusive of time-dependent and time-independent covariates within anthropogenic, environmental, and wind energy variable classes. Across winters, pronghorn winter mortality risk decreased by 20% with every 1.0-km increase in average distance from major roads (hazard ratio = 0.80, 90% CI: 0.66-0.98), decreased by 4.0% with every 1% increase in average time spent in sagebrush (Artemisia spp. L; hazard ratio = 0.96, 90% CI: 0.95-0.98), and decreased by 92% with every 1 unit (VRM × 1000) increase in terrain ruggedness (hazard ratio = 0.08,90% CI: 0.01-0.68). Pronghorn winter survival was not influenced by exposure to wind energy infrastructure; however, pronghorn survival may be impacted by larger-scale wind energy developments than those examined in our study. We recommend wildlife managers focus on conserving sagebrush stands in designated pronghorn winter range. © 2016 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    • Spatially Explicit Rangeland Erosion Monitoring Using High-Resolution Digital Aerial Imagery

      Gillan, J.K.; Karl, J.W.; Barger, N.N.; Elaksher, A.; Duniway, M.C. (Society for Range Management, 2016)
      Nearly all of the ecosystem services supported by rangelands, including production of livestock forage, carbon sequestration, and provisioning of clean water, are negatively impacted by soil erosion. Accordingly, monitoring the severity, spatial extent, and rate of soil erosion is essential for long-term sustainable management. Traditional field-based methods of monitoring erosion (sediment traps, erosion pins, and bridges) can be labor intensive and therefore are generally limited in spatial intensity and/or extent. There is a growing effort to monitor natural resources at broad scales, which is driving the need for new soil erosion monitoring tools. One remote-sensing technique that can be used to monitor soil movement is a time series of digital elevation models (DEMs) created using aerial photogrammetry methods. By geographically coregistering the DEMs and subtracting one surface from the other, an estimate of soil elevation change can be created. Such analysis enables spatially explicit quantification and visualization of net soil movement including erosion, deposition, and redistribution. We constructed DEMs (12-cm ground sampling distance) on the basis of aerial photography immediately before and 1 year after a vegetation removal treatment on a 31-ha Piñon-Juniper woodland in southeastern Utah to evaluate the use of aerial photography in detecting soil surface change. On average, we were able to detect surface elevation change of ±8-9cm and greater, which was sufficient for the large amount of soil movement exhibited on the study area. Detecting more subtle soil erosion could be achieved using the same technique with higherresolution imagery from lower-flying aircraft such as unmanned aerial vehicles. DEM differencing and processfocused field methods provided complementary information and a more complete assessment of soil loss and movement than any single technique alone. Photogrammetric DEM differencing could be used as a technique to quantitatively monitor surface change over time relative to management activities. © 2016 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    • Voices of Change: Narratives from Ranching Women of the Southwestern United States

      Wilmer, H.; Fernández-Giménez, M.E. (Society for Range Management, 2016)
      The gendered contexts of rangeland decision-making in the southwestern United States are poorly understood. We conducted life-history interviews with 19 ranching women and analyzed the resulting transcripts using narrative analysis. Interviews revealed eight common themes in these women ranchers' experiences: 1) learning from older generations, 2) finding a personal career path, 3) operating livestock businesses, 4) breaking gender barriers, 5) leading communities, 6) aging and going on alone, 7) living close to the land, and 8) passing the ranching tradition to the next generation. Women's roles as ranch decision-makers, community-keepers, and business operators evolve throughout their lifetimes, as do their needs for decision-making support from outreach. We suggest that women's life stages and gendered contexts be considered in further rangeland management research, policy, and extension. © 2016 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    • Seed Dormancy Mechanisms in Basalt Milkvetch and Western Prairie Clover

      Jones, T.A.; Johnson, D.A.; Bushman, B.S.; Connors, K.J.; Smith, R.C. (Society for Range Management, 2016)
      A greater diversity of native legumes and forbs is desirable for rangeland restoration practice in the Intermountain Region of the western United States. But for such diversity to materialize in the seed marketplace and to be effective in restoration practice, seeds that germinate reliably in seed fields and on restoration sites are needed. We measured germination response of two native legumes, basalt milkvetch (Astragalus filipes Torr. ex A. Gray) and western prairie clover (Dalea ornata [Douglas] Eaton & Wright), after eight germination treatments. Treatments were a factorial combination of 1) seed scarification with sandpaper (or unscarified), 2) a substrate of moist sand (or blotter paper), and 3) a 3-wk prechill at 5° (or nonprechilled). Cumulative germination increased linearly throughout the 10-wk course of the experiment for all treatment combinations in both species. Scarification increased germination of western prairie clover, but prechilling and substrate had no effect. In contrast, prechilling, scarification, and a sand substrate all increased germination of basalt milkvetch. Hence, for this species the prechilled/scarified/sand treatment combination displayed the numerically highest germination for all 10 wk (30-43%), and the nonprechilled/unscarified/blotter paper treatment combination always germinated lowest (1-3%). Results were consistent with physical dormancy (hard-seededness) limiting germination of western prairie clover and combinational dormancy (i.e., co-occurrence of physical and physiological dormancy) limiting germination of basalt milkvetch. Of the two species, we have found basalt milkvetch to be the more difficult to establish from seed. By prechilling acid-scarified seed in moist sand, basalt milkvetch was successfully established in two field trials seeded in mid-April. Nonprechilled mechanically (sandpaper) scarified seed germinated as high as prechilled acid-scarified seed. By scarifying and prechilling basalt milkvetch seed to address physical and physiological dormancy mechanisms, respectively, this seed-treatment protocol may be "scaled up" to produce large quantities of germinable seed. © 2015 Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of The Society for Range Management.
    • Temporal Variability in Microclimatic Conditions for Grass Germination and Emergence in the Sagebrush Steppe

      Hardegree, S.P.; Sheley, R.L.; Duke, S.E.; James, J.J.; Boehm, A.R.; Flerchinger, G.N. (Society for Range Management, 2016)
      Sagebrush steppe ecosystems in the western United States are characterized by harsh environmental conditions with high annual and seasonal variability in both precipitation and temperature. Environmental variability contributes to widespread failure in establishing stands of desired species on degraded and invaded landscapes. To characterize seasonal microclimatic patterns and planting date effects on restoration outcomes, we evaluated long-term simulations of seed germination response of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.), bottlebrush squirreltail (Elymus elymoides [Raf] Swezey), and Idaho fescue (Festuca idahoensis Elmer) to annual patterns of soil temperature and moisture. Extremely high annual variability in both the conditions favorable for germination and patterns of post-germination drought and thermal stress make it difficult to justify general inferences about seedbed treatment and planting date effects from individual, short-term field studies. We discuss the interpretation of individual-year and seasonal plant establishment factors and offer a mechanistic model for interpreting planting date and year effects on initial seedling establishment. Historical ranking and mechanistic descriptions of individual-year seedbed conditions may allow for expanded inferences through meta-analysis of limited-term field experiments. © 2015 Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of The Society for Range Management.
    • Grasshopper Responses to Fire and Postfire Grazing in the Northern Great Plains Vary Among Species

      Branson, D.H.; Vermeire, L.T. (Society for Range Management, 2016)
      Rangeland management practices such as burning and grazing may affect the development, survival, and reproduction of grasshopper populations. Experiments in the northern Great Plains that examine effects of fire and grazing utilization on grasshoppers are lacking. As part of a larger study examining vegetation responses to late summer fire and postfire grazing utilization in semiarid mixed prairie in eastern Montana to aid in postfire management decisions, we examined grasshopper responses to late summer fire and postfire grazing intensity. The experiment was repeated using adjacent blocks, with blocks receiving fire treatment in either 2003 or 2004 and grazing in the following year. Treatments were no fire and no grazing, and summer fire followed by grazing at 0%, 17%, or 50% forage utilization on a biomass basis. Grasshopper sampling was conducted before fire and for 2 years post fire. Fire reduced grasshopper density 36-53% across experiments, sampling periods, and postfire grazing treatments, but the effects of grazing and fire were species dependent. The two most abundant grasshopper species, Ageneotettix deorum (Scudder) and Opeia obscura (Thomas), were reduced 80% and 84% the first year after the 2003 fire, but only O. obscura was affected following the 2004 fire. Late summer fire appears to be a useful management tool to reduce populations of some grasshopper species in the northern Great Plains, while other species appear more responsive to food limitation from increased postfire grazing utilization. Fire effects were largely driven by two species, indicating that late-season fire impacts could be species dependent. © 2015 Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of The Society for Range Management.
    • Topographic Context of the Burn Edge Influences Postfire Recruitment of Arid Land Shrubs

      Condon, L.A.; Weisberg, P.J. (Society for Range Management, 2016)
      Although fire is becoming frequent in arid lands throughout the world, little is known about the recruitment pattern of many arid land shrub species after fire. We explored topographic and edaphic correlates of postfire recruitment for four shrub species 6 years following wildfire in central Nevada, United States. We hypothesized that the spatial pattern of shrub recruitment varies with fire-related species traits according to the topographic position of the burn edge, which correlated with postfire seed sources. Where the burn edge fell on a ridge, the frequency of the colonizing shrub, Artemisia tridentata ssp. vaseyana, decreased with distance from the burn edge, whereas the frequency of facultative resprouting specieswas independent or increased with distance. Where the burn edge fell behind a ridge, there were fewer shrubs overall and a greater proportion of resprouting species. Most individuals of resprouting species were adults, suggesting immediate, fire-stimulated recruitment. Interactions among topographic position and distance from the burn edge influence the recruitment patterns of shrub species and have implications for the postfire species assemblage that are predictable on the basis of firerelated plant traits. We demonstrate how the topographic position of the burn edge influences postfire recovery trajectories of the shrub community. © 2016 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.