Welcome to the Rangeland Ecology & Management archives. The journal Rangeland Ecology & Management (RE&M; v58, 2005-present) is the successor to the Journal of Range Management (JRM; v. 1-57, 1948-2004.) The archives provide public access, in a "rolling window" agreement with the Society for Range Management, to both titles (JRM and RE&M), from v.1 up to five years from the present year.

The most recent years of RE&M are available through membership in the Society for Range Management (SRM). Membership in SRM is a means to access current information and dialogue on rangeland management.

Your institution may also have access to current issues through library or institutional subscriptions.

Print ISSN: 0022-409x

Online ISSN: 1550-7424


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Recent Submissions

  • Using Resilience and Resistance Concepts to Manage Persistent Threats to Sagebrush Ecosystems and Greater Sage-grouse

    Chambers, J.C.; Maestas, J.D.; Pyke, D.A.; Boyd, C.S.; Pellant, M.; Wuenschel, A. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Conservation of imperiled species often demands addressing a complex suite of threats that undermine species viability. Regulatory approaches, such as the US Endangered Species Act (1973), tend to focus on anthropogenic threats through adoption of policies and regulatory mechanisms. However, persistent ecosystem-based threats, such as invasive species and altered disturbance regimes, remain critical issues for most at-risk species considered to be conservation-reliant. We describe an approach for addressing persistent ecosystem threats to at-risk species based on ecological resilience and resistance concepts that is currently being used to conserve greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) and sagebrush ecosystems. The approach links biophysical indicators of ecosystem resilience and resistance with species-specific population and habitat requisites in a risk-based framework to identify priority areas for management and guide allocation of resources to manage persistent ecosystem-based threats. US federal land management and natural resource agencies have adopted this framework as a foundation for prioritizing sage-grouse conservation resources and determining effective restoration and management strategies. Because threats and strategies to address them cross-cut program areas, an integrated approach that includes wildland fire operations, postfire rehabilitation, fuels management, and habitat restoration is being used. We believe this approach is applicable to species conservation in other largely intact ecosystems with persistent, ecosystem-based threats. © Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of The Society for Range Management.
  • Space Use of Female Greater Prairie-Chickens in Response to Fire and Grazing Interactions

    Winder, V.L.; McNew, L.B.; Pitman, J.C.; Sandercock, B.K. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Ecological interactions between fire and grazing have shaped the evolutionary history of grassland ecosystems. Currently, grassland birds have experienced ongoing population declines, following widespread implementation of intensive rangeland management practices that reduce habitat heterogeneity. Patch-burn grazing is an alternative rangeland management strategy that promotes habitat heterogeneity and biodiversity. We conducted a 3-yr. field study in the central Flint Hills of Kansas to compare the spatial ecology of female Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido) in rangelands managed with intensive rangeland management versus patch-burn grazing. This is the first study on the effects of patch-burn grazing on the space use decisions of Greater Prairie-Chickens at the home range scale. We used seasonal estimates of home range for 6-mo breeding and nonbreeding periods, as well as resource utilization functions to investigate the response of female prairie chickens to landscape metrics describing fire, grazing, and proximity to anthropogenic structures or lek sites. In our analysis of all radio-marked females, distance to lek was consistently the strongest predictor of space use during both breeding and nonbreeding seasons. Females captured at properties managed with patch-burn grazing selected areas with low stocking rates and high fire frequencies, and they avoided recently burned areas. Our study provides new evidence that patch-burn grazing can improve grassland habitat for Greater Prairie-Chickens, an umbrella species in the tallgrass prairie ecosystem. Patch-burn grazing created preferred habitats for female Greater Prairie-Chickens, with a relatively frequent fire return interval, a mosaic of burned and unburned patches, and a reduced stocking rate in unburned areas avoided by grazers. Widespread implementation of patch-burn grazing could result in significant improvements in habitat quality for wildlife in the tallgrass prairie ecosystem. © 2017 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc.
  • Response of Northern Bobwhite Movements to Management-Driven Disturbance in a Shrub-Dominated Ecosystem

    Carroll, J.M.; Davis, C.A.; Elmore, R.D.; Fuhlendorf, S.D. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Despite inhabiting fire-adapted grasslands and shrublands across much of their continental distribution, northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus, hereafter bobwhite) behavior relative to disturbance (e.g., fire) is poorly understood, especially in the western fringe of their distribution. We assessed bobwhite movement and space use following dormant season burning (January-March 2013-2014) in a sand shinnery oak (Quercus havardii, hereafter shinnery oak) plant community. We captured and radio-marked bobwhites (n=369) and monitored them via radiotelemetry across burn treatments (averaging 254 ha) ranging from 0 to 12, 13 to 24, 25 to 36, and >36 months post fire (hereafter, time since fire [TSF]) at the Packsaddle Wildlife Management Area in western Oklahoma, United States. Mean covey home range size was 76.6 ha ± 5.9 [SE] (range; 12-270 ha) (n = 61 coveys), which is substantially larger than covey home ranges reported for other regions. Prescribed fire affected space use of coveys (F4, 54 = 2.95, P < 0.05), which was driven by smaller home range sizes of coveys using 25-36 TSF (52.07 ha [± 6.6]) than 0-12 (85.0 ha [± 15.53]), 13-24 (86.7 ha [± 20.7]) and > 36 TSF (78.9 ha [± 6.54]). Generalized linear mixed models demonstrated that neither spring dispersal (movements or area traversed) were correlated with TSF, age, or sex (n = 114), further demonstrating aminimal effect of prescribed fire; however, dispersal areas were greater in 2013 than in 2014 (P < 0.05). Our research shows that prescribed fire applied at a landscape scale had limited effects on short-term bobwhite movement and space use. These findings also suggest that in shinnery oak vegetation communities land managers can use prescribed fire across large spatial extents without substantially altering the space use or movement of bobwhites. © 2016 The Society for Range Management.
  • Contrasting Daily and Seasonal Activity and Movement of Sympatric Elk and Cattle

    Clark, P.E.; Johnson, D.E.; Ganskopp, D.C.; Varva, M.; Cook, J.G.; Cook, R.C.; Pierson, F.B.; Hardegree, S.P. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Elk (Cervus elaphus L.) and cattle (Bos taurus L.) co-occur on rangelands throughout western North America. Literature regarding range relations between elk and cattle, however, is contradictory, describing interspecific competition in some cases and complementary or facilitative relations in others. A better understanding of how sympatric elk and cattle behave at fine spatiotemporal scales is needed to properly allocate resources for these species. We used intensively sampled Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking data (1-sec intervals) to classify elk and cattle behavior and investigate their activity and movement strategies in the Blue Mountains of northeastern Oregon, United States, during summer and fall 2007. An ensemble classification approach was used to identify stationary, foraging, and walking behavior classes within the GPS datasets of mature beef and captive elk cows grazing in forested pastures during two randomized experiments, one in summer and the other fall. During summer, elk traveled farther per day, had larger walking budgets, exhibited more and longer walking bouts, and had higher walking velocities than beef cows. Cattle tended to emphasize intensive foraging over extensive movement and thus displayed larger foraging budgets and longer foraging bouts than elk. Site-by-species interactions, however, were detected for some foraging responses. During fall, when forage quality was limiting, elk exhibited a more foraging-centric mobility strategy while cattle emphasized an energy conservation strategy. These differing movement and energetic strategies tended to support the concept that elk and cattle occupy differing behavioral niches. Extensive foraging by elk and intensive foraging by cattle during summer correspond well with behaviors expected for elk searching out forbs in graminoid-dominated habitats and cattle foraging intensively on graminoids. Behaviors exhibited in the fall were consistent with elk continuing to exercise more selectivity among the available forage than cattle. These differing strategies, consequently, would moderate the potential for direct interspecific competition during summer and fall. © Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of The Society for Range Management.
  • Compatibility of Livestock Grazing and Recreational Use on Coastal California Public Lands: Importance, Interactions, and Management Solutions

    Wolf, K.M.; Baldwin, R.A.; Barry, S. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    While the primary use of rangelands for over a century has been livestock grazing to produce food and fiber, elevated demand for recreational land has increasingly brought livestock-recreation interactions to the forefront. California's coastal range is a hotspot for graziers and recreationists alike and is an important region in which to address the challenges and opportunities of concurrent grazing and recreation. Here we review issues related to livestock grazing on publicly owned recreational lands, discuss potential areas of conflict, and highlight promising avenues for fostering positive livestock-recreation interactions. Managers grazing livestock on public lands have adopted a variety of management practices to minimize conflicts and maximize benefits derived from multiple uses of public lands. However, even a few perceived negative recreationist experiences may prompt some public land agencies to remove livestock grazing entirely. California's grasslands-a large component of public lands-are the most "at-risk" habitat type for development, and increasing economic and social pressures on ranchers who utilize leased public lands make it more likely that ranchers would sell their private lands to developers if access to public grazing land were eliminated, further increasing threats to our already dwindling rangelands. The continued accessibility of public lands for grazing is thus inextricably linked to the protection of private rangelands and the critical resources they provide. Novel approaches to public education and collaborative land management are critical to reducing negative livestock-recreation encounter and ensuring continued conservation of wildlands. © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of The Society for Range Management.
  • Factors Affecting the Efficacy of Low-Stress Herding and Supplement Placement to Target Cattle Grazing Locations

    Stephenson, M.B.; Bailey, D.W.; Bruegger, R.A.; Howery, L.D. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Success of targeted grazing is strongly influenced by the ability of livestock managers to focus grazing livestock on a specific area. Targeted cattle grazing using low-stress herding (LSH) and strategic supplement placement was conducted at four study sites to evaluate management factors that affected our ability to focus cattle grazing on small areas of large pastures. Simple linear regression was used to evaluate relationships between the time Global Positioning System-tracked cattle spent near supplement placement sites and four factors: 1) intake of low-moisture block (LMB) protein supplement, 2) perennial grass standing crop, 3) horizontal and vertical distance of LMB from water, and 4) slope near LMB. Repeated measures were used to evaluate time cattle spent near LMB in different years at study sites in Arizona and New Mexico. Intake of LMB supplement was a moderately good predictor (r2 = 0.60; P &lt; 0.01) of time cattle remained within 250 m of LMB supplement. When cattle consumed recommended amounts of LMB, they tended to stay near LMB longer if supplement was placed in areas with greater perennial grass standing crop (r2 = 0.34; P = 0.07). No relationships were detected (r2 &lt; 0.15; P &gt; 0.17) between time cattle were near supplement and the horizontal and vertical distance of LMB from water and slope near LMB. The combination of LSH and strategic LMB placement was an effective method to target cattle grazing when cattle consumed recommended amounts of LMB. However, efficacy of LSH and LMB to target cattle grazing may be influenced by environmental factors such as drought and yearly differences in forage standing crop and quality. Changes in cattle grazing behavior in years following initial LSH and LMB treatments also may influence cattle remaining near LMB. © 2017 The Society for Range Management.
  • Using Phenology to Optimize Timing of Mowing and Grazing Treatments for Medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae)

    Brownsey, P.; James, J.J.; Barry, S.J.; Becchetti, T.A.; Davy, J.S.; Doran, M.P.; Forero, L.C.; Harper, J.M.; Larsen, R.E.; Larson-Praplan, S.R.; et al. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    The invasive annual grass medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae [L.] Nevski) poses a substantial threat to the health and function of rangelands across the western United States. On rangelands containing other desirable annual grasses, selective control of medusahead is difficult as this invasive species has traits similar to those of desired species. One key trait that differs between medusahead and other annual grasses is the rate and timing of phenological development. In this study we define management states for medusahead on the basis of the patterns of variation of forage palatability and susceptibility of seed production to defoliation over phenological stages. We integrate these management states with field observations to model the rates and timing of phenology-based management states to identify when targeted grazing or mowing treatments are most appropriate using Dirichlet regression and multistate modeling. While defoliation at any phenological stage from V3 (boot) to R8 (milk stage) was effective in reducing medusahead seed head production, clipping after anthesis almost eliminated seed production. However, the observed decline in crude protein at this point (11-8%) suggests that the transition from R4 (emergence of awns) to R5 (anthesis) is also the point at which medusahead becomes both unpalatable and not adequately nutritious to livestock. As a consequence there was a window of 10 to 15 days when 90% or more of medusahead reproductive tillers are susceptible to grazing but could also support nutritional needs of cattle and sheep to prevent avoidance in diet selection. In contrast, the window of opportunity for mowing, on average, extended for about 35 days. In a given year, the timing in which different medusahead populations entered each phenological stage varied at both the landscape and pasture scale, which creates both challenges and opportunities in using grazing animals and other defoliation mechanisms to control medusahead. © 2017 The Society for Range Management.
  • Quantifying Optimal Rates of Litter Retention to Maximize Annual Net Primary Productivity on Mixed-Grass Prairie

    Hilger, H.; Lamb, E.G. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Optimal rates of litter retention for maximizing annual aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) were investigated in native mixed-grass rangelands in Saskatchewan, Canada. The study was conducted on 18 independent study sites on brown and dark brown Chernozem (Mollisol) soils during the 2011 and 2012 growing seasons. Each site contained 30 treatment plots with two control plots and 28 treatment plots receiving between 1 and 2 290 g/m2 of added plant litter sourced from a reference site. Soil moisture values were recorded for each plot in May, June, and July, while forb, graminoid, and total ANPP were harvested at the end of the growing season. Soil moisture-litter relationships were driven by weather patterns with significant differences between years. Graminoid ANPP-litter relationships were nonlinear with peaks in productivity between 54 and 412 g/m2 of litter mass in the brown soil zone and between 27 and 157 g/m2 of litter mass in the dark brown soil zone. Forb ANPP was highest at the lowest litter masses and was not significantly influenced by study year or soil zone. The recommended litter retention rates in provincial range health assessment guidelines are accurate for the dark brown soil zone but are lower than the levels identified here for the more arid brown soil zone. © 2017 The Society for Range Management.
  • Soil Physical Changes after Conversion of Woodlands to Pastures in Dry Chaco Rangelands (Argentina)

    Magliano, P.N.; Fernández, R.J.; Florio, E.L.; Murray, F.; Jobbágy, E.G. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    The conversion of dry woody rangelands into pastures can alter key soil physical properties that regulate ecosystem water circulation and storage. Based on three paired stands of native woodlands and pastures established 20 years ago in the southern Dry Chaco (San Luis, Argentina), we described contrasts in five soil physical properties using a systematic sampling of soil patches (9-18 patches along a single transect within each of the three paired 1-ha stands). Compared with woodlands, pastures displayed flatter microtopography (mean ± standard deviation [SD]: 3.7 ± 0.34 vs. 5.0 ± 0.67% slope; P &lt; 0.05), lower infiltration rate (mean ± SD: 71.6 ± 9.0 vs. 139.9 ± 37.2 mm h-1; P &lt; 0.05), and higher penetration resistance (mean ± SD: 4.2 ± 0.10 vs. 1.9 ± 0.17 kg cm-2; P &lt; 0.01) and bulk density (mean ± SD: 1.39 ± 0.05 vs. 1.16 ± 0.04 g cm-3; P &lt; 0.0001). On average, topsoil water content at field capacity was similar for both types of cover (mean ± SD: 16.3 ± 0.21 vs. 17.1 ± 1.12%, pastures and woodlands, respectively; P = 0.29). However, at similar bulk density values, pastures presented a ∼20% reduction in volumetric water content at field capacity (16.3%) compared with woodlands (19.7%). The establishment of pastures led to more homogenous soils, with most variables having reduced spatial variability in comparison with woodlands. Our observations showed how the conversion of native woodlands to pastures produced strong physical changes in the soils of Dry Chaco and help to understand the mechanisms that are most likely influencing the surface-soil water dynamics of these, and perhaps other, dry rangelands. © 2017 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc.
  • Burning Modifies Composition of Emergent Seedlings in Fescue Prairie

    Ren, L.; Bai, Y. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Fire plays a crucial role in mediating species composition in Fescue Prairie. However, previous studies focused on responses of plant community to burning without disentangling the effects of burning on seedling emergence in Fescue Prairie. In this study, seedlings emerging in the field and from soil seed banks incubated in a greenhouse were examined after burning in the spring of 2012 and 2013 near Saskatoon, Canada. Soil seed bank samples were taken from the top 5 cm of the soil profile, separated into litter, 0-to 1-cm soil, and 1-to 5-cm soil layers. In the 2-yr field study, 11 plant families with 1 graminoid and 22 nongraminoids were identified among emerged seedlings. Burning significantly increased the number of 3 native and 1 non-native seedlings emerging, as well as total seedlings emerging from the field in both years (P < 0.05). Species richness and diversity of seedlings emerging from the field were increased by burning. Species composition of emerged seedlings from the field was significantly altered by burning in 2012 (P = 0.03) and 2013 (P < 0.01). In the 2-yr soil seed bank study, 19 plant families with 10 graminoids and 56 nongraminoids emerged. Burning had more prominent effects on seedling density of native species and forbs, rather than non-native species and graminoids. Species composition was altered by burning in all studied soil layers (P < 0.05). Fire appears to stimulate recruitment of some species, especially early seral species, contributing to potential changes in species composition of the Fescue Prairie. © 2017 The Society for Range Management.
  • Seed Production in Festuca Hallii is Regulated by Adaptation to Long-Term Temperature and Precipitation Patterns

    Palit, R.; Bai, Y.; Romo, J.; Coulman, B.; Warren, R. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Plains rough fescue (Festuca hallii [Vasey] Piper) is an important, native forage grass species in Western Canada. Despite the high demand of seeds of this species, supply remains extremely limited mainly due to erratic seed production in native prairies. The underlining physiological and environmental principles remain largely unknown. Using historical weather records and long-term field observations, this study assessed the effects of summer, autumn, and spring temperatures and moisture conditions on seed production of Festuca hallii at two research stations in Saskatchewan, Canada. Our results showed that colder to normal temperatures and wet to normal moisture in summer and autumn favored flowering in the following year. Moreover, warmer to normal temperatures in the spring of the seed-producing year also promoted flowering while freezing events in spring negatively affected the reproductive success. Thus, irrigation in late summer and autumnmay be a valid strategy for stimulation of seed production in Festuca hallii. These findings can be useful to seed producers for commercial forage seed production. Moreover, conservationists could use this information to predict the likelihood that a particular year would be good for seed production. © 2016 The Society for Range Management.
  • The Soil Seedbank of Pasture Communities in Central Queensland Invaded by Parthenium hysterophorus L.

    Nguyen, T.L.T.; Bajwa, A.A.; Navie, S.C.; O'Donnell, C.; Adkins, S.W. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    A study examining the composition and dynamics of the soil seedbank was conducted at two locations in central Queensland between December 2007 and May 2009. These two grassland communities were infested with parthenium weed (Parthenium hysterophorus L.), which had been present at both sites for at least 25 years. During the period of study, the seedbank varied between 5 962 and 16 206 seeds/m2 at the Clermont site and between 6 795 and 24 862 seeds/m2 at the Moolayember Creek site. Parthenium weed exhibited a very abundant and persistent seedbank, accounting for 80-87% of the seedbank at the Clermont site and 3-26% of the seedbank at the Moolayember Creek site. The species richness and species diversity of the seedbank, as well as the seed abundance of several native and introduced species, were higher at the Moolayember Creek site than at the Clermont site. The domination of the seedbanks by parthenium weed, especially at Clermont, suggests that the weed is having a substantial negative impact on seedbanks of native plant communities. The diversity of the seedbank at the Clermont site was found to be lower in comparison with that observed during an earlier study in 1995-1996, while the diversity at Moolayember Creek was found to have increased. Hence, the prolonged presence of parthenium weed may have substantially reduced the diversity of the seedbank at the Clermont site, while improved management practices may have increased diversity at the Moolayember Creek site. © 2016 The Society for Range Management.