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.

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Print ISSN: 0022-409x

Online ISSN: 1550-7424


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Recent Submissions

  • Balancing Property Rights and Social Responsibilities: Perspectives of Conservation Easement Landowners

    Stroman, D.A.; Kreuter, U.P.; Gan, J. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Currently, > 20 million acres in the United States are protected through conservation easements. While the role of property rights in enabling conservation easements is well documented, attitudes of landowners living under those property rights regimes have not been thoroughly researched. To address the knowledge gap, landowners in Texas with perpetual conservation easements participated in a mail survey and resulting data were compared with prior research on the property rights perspectives of a group of noneasement-owning rural landowners. Our study indicates that easement and noneasement landowners differ in their attitudes concerning both property rights and social responsibilities with respect to land management. While landowners in both groups agreed that property ownership conveyed certain fundamental rights, noneasement landowners expressed stronger conventional property rights attitudes than easement landowners. Counter to expectations, noneasement landowners were also more likely to express a stronger land stewardship ethic. We also found significant demographic differences between the two groups with easement landowners tending to be younger, having more formal education, being less likely to live on their rural property and owning their property for a shorter period of time. Those demographic differences, combined with differences between the two groups of landowners with respect to dependence on their land for income, locational differences of the two surveys from which data were obtained, and the 9-yr span between the two surveys limited our ability to extrapolate our findings to a broader population of landowners. Intragroup comparisons among easement landowners failed to find differences between easement-granting and successive generation easement landowners with respect to property rights orientations, but we did find some attitudinal differences between male and female respondents. Our research implies that landowners willing to accept substantial property rights adjustments designed to facilitate environmental protection goals may have inherently different attitudes concerning property rights ideals. © Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of The Society for Range Management.
  • Conservation Credits - Evolution of a Market-Oriented Approach to Recovery of Species of Concern on Private Land

    Kreuter, U.P.; Wolfe, D.W.; Hays, K.B.; Conner, J.R. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    When species are listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act, there are often real or perceived negative consequences for landowners that may produce perverse incentives and lead to the elimination rather than protection of habitat for the species on private land. In Texas, where approximately 95% of the land is privately owned, the listing of one species and the potential listing of another led to the creation of two innovative programs aimed at incentivizing landowners to protect and improve habitat for the two species: Recovery Credit System for the Golden-Cheeked Warbler and Conservation Recovery Award System for the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard. Both programs were based on multistakeholder collaborations that included federal and state agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and private landowners, and which resulted in quasimarket mechanisms for the voluntary protection of habitat by landowners for the species of concern. Key components of both programs included confidentiality of landowner conservation agreements with the state's wildlife management agency and the creation of not-for profit organizations to implement contracts with landowners and disseminate payments for habitat conservation actions to landowners. These two programs have also informed efforts to protect the Lesser Prairie-Chicken and Greater Sage-Grouse, which are under threat on private land in multiple states. Seven lessons learned from protection programs for the four species presented in this article provide useful guidelines for the conservation of other at-risk species on private land elsewhere. © 2017 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Human Population Growth, African Pastoralism, and Rangelands: A Perspective

    Holechek, J.L.; Cibils, A.F.; Bengaly, K.; Kinyamario, J.I. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Pastoral livestock production systems in Africa that have existed for centuries are now threatened by changing demographics, improved communications, increased availability of modern weapons, open rangeland shrinkage, global warming, and large-scale migration of people from rural areas to rapidly expanding cities. Human population increase coupled with globalization has led to major conflicts over natural resources in several African countries. If current growth rates persist, the population of Africa will double in 33 yr. Land resources available for farming are now fully used in several African countries. There is growing concern about the capability of these countries to feed their future projected populations. Africa's three most populous countries (Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Egypt) are all net food importers. Demand for meat and milk in Africa is projected to double by 2050. Roughly one-half of Africa can be classified as rangeland. Some form of pastoral grazing is the most efficient way to use most of these lands and sustain traditional cultures. Because most African rangelands are now stocked at or above grazing capacity, there is little potential to increase livestock production by increasing animal numbers. However, because offtake levels across Africa are much lower than in other parts of the world, considerable potential exists to increase meat and milk production. Local development projects oriented toward keeping people on the land and self-sufficiency have considerable potential to improve living and environmental conditions for small farmers and pastoralists. Improved and equal education opportunities for both genders, family planning assistance, renewable energy development, empowerment of women, improvement of soil and water resources, and wildlife conservation should be areas of development focus. Maintaining migration corridors, providing legal rights to historic grazing lands, and providing support services along migration corridors such as watering points, markets, schools, and health care are important strategies to sustain pastoralism. © Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of The Society for Range Management.
  • Structure of Stockmen Collaboration Networks under Two Contrasting Touristic Regimes in the Spanish Central Pyrenees

    Saiz, H.; Gartzia, M.; Errea, P.; Fillat, F.; Alados, C.L. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Ecosystem management is a difficult task because it must conciliate the ecological, economic, and social dimensions of socioecological systems. In those systems, the action of any single component can have an effect on the others and result in a critical impact on the organization of the entire system. This study examined the collaboration networks among stockmen within two traditionally agropastoral regions in the Spanish Central Pyrenees, which in the past 30 yr included touristic activities: one under the influence of a national park and centered on ecotourism and the other in a region where there are ski resorts and local stockmen have turned to snow tourism. Our hypotheses were that economic regime affects the structure of the networks, and the type of collaboration (e.g., for economic reasons) influences the collaborations among stockmen. We built stockmen collaboration networks by connecting breeders within the same pastoral partnerships and calculated the importance of collaborations (links density), the occurrence of collaborative subgroups (network modularity), and the existence of collaborations between stockmen in different regions (Krackhardt Ratio). In addition, we identified the distribution of links among types of pastoral partnerships. The network under the influence of the National Park presented higher link density and modularity than did the network influenced by ski resorts, where the presence of nonlocal stockmen is higher. Furthermore, economic partnerships played a major role connecting stockmen. In the study area, differences in the collaboration networks between the two regions suggest that changes in the economic trend in the past 30 yr has influenced the collaborative structure of the stockmen. We discuss possible reasons behind these differences and propose some recommendations that could help to strengthen the collaborative bounds between stockmen in the area. © 2017 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Grass Mortality and Turnover Following Core Rangeland Restoration Practices

    Wonkka, C.L.; West, J.B.; Twidwell, D.; Rogers, W.E. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    In rangelands, management interventions have sought to minimize disturbances that decrease survival of perennial grasses to avoid compositional shifts toward less desirable species. However, the effects of rangeland management techniques on perennial grass survival and turnover are not known for individual species because the discipline has largely focused on structural metrics, measuring cover or biomass rather than tracking individual plants. In this study, we quantified perennial grass survival and recruitment in response to core rangeland restoration practices across multiple soil types to determine the potential for different interventions to cause shifts to undesirable grass community assemblages. We mapped individual grass tufts and recorded basal area annually. We used these maps to track survival and recruitment of grasses in response to mechanical brush removal, chemical woody plant control, and low-intensity prescribed burning. Additionally, we performed ordinations of the grass community to explore compositional shifts resulting from management interventions. We found perennial grass mortality to be higher for mechanically treated plots on all soil types than it was in chemically treated plots, burned plots, or untreated controls. Levels of mortality from fire were similar to baseline mortality in control plots for all soil types. However, relative species turnover was variable among soils and treatments. Brush removal only resulted in compositional shifts on sandy soils, where annual grasses and species capable of rapid expansion following disturbance became dominant. Differential responses are related to differences in species turnover, which is a function of individual grass species mortality and recruitment mediated by interactions between management approach and abiotic conditions. Given this response variability, understanding effects of management actions on perennial grass turnover and the potential for those actions to result in a community shift toward less desirable species is necessary for managers to achieve restoration goals on encroached rangelands. © 2017 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Using Cattle Grazing to Restore a Rough Fescue Prairie Invaded by Kentucky Bluegrass

    Otfinowski, R.; Pinchbeck, H.G.; Sinkins, P.A. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Rough fescue prairies were once common across the northern prairies but have now been almost entirely lost to a combination of agricultural expansion, energy development, fire suppression, and invasion by exotic species. Despite these pressures, remnant grasslands remain important in conserving biodiversity and as habitats for threatened species. In this project, we test the hypothesis that the density of Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis), an invasive, exotic species, introduced across the Great Plains, is inversely relatedwith the density of plains rough fescue (Festuca hallii), the dominant native grass of northern fescue communities, and examine whether cattle grazing could help restore invaded prairies. We tested the relationship between the two species using 33 transects (0-44 m), located within patches of rough fescue prairie at the Batoche National Historic Site of Canada in Saskatchewan. Along each transect, we recorded the density of Kentucky bluegrass and plains rough fescue and used cattle exclosures to test the hypothesis that grazing reduces the abundance of the invader and increases the abundance of plains rough fescue. Although higher densities of Kentucky bluegrasswere negatively correlated with the density of plains rough fescue, grazing by cattle did not significantly reduce the density of Kentucky bluegrass, 6 yr after the initiation of grazing. However, cattle grazing also did not reduce the density of plains rough fescue, suggesting that it may provide a valuable tool to actively manage and restore invaded prairies. Our results also suggest that long-term monitoring and additional measurements of community diversity and productivity may be necessary to demonstrate the success of this restoration method. © 2017 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Intermittent Growing Season Defoliation Variably Impacts Accumulated Herbage Productivity in Mixed Grass Prairie

    Bork, E.W.; Broadbent, T.S.; Willms, W.D. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    To evaluate mechanisms by which defoliation alters grassland productivity, we examined mixed grass prairie herbage yields under recurring treatments that included hand-clipping of plots over five growing seasons at high intensity and low frequency (HILF), low intensity and high frequency (LIHF), high intensity and high frequency (HIHF), or the end of the growing season (deferred control), combined with water treatments of ambient rainfall or water addition. The study was repeated in a drier upland and mesic lowland range site. Yield was assessed as annual accumulated herbage production and, for HILF and control treatments in 2012 (year 3), evaluated separately for forbs and major graminoids. Temporal changes in the proportional yield during the growing season were also examined for the HILF and HIHF treatments. Moisture addition increased accumulated herbage, especially in the upland, and exacerbated differences among defoliation effects in select years. Productivity was greatest in the deferred controls, suggesting no treatment led to overcompensation, even with moisture addition. Among growing season treatments, yields under HILF exceeded that of the HIHF in 6 of 10 different combinations of site and year, particularly early in the study and under high moisture. Observed herbage yields suggest deferred patches of grassland may boost productivity and limit the ability of HILF defoliation to increase production, a pattern magnified by a reduction in Pascopyrum smithii in lowlands before mid-July. Accumulated herbage yield did respond favorably to HILF defoliation in uplands due to increased yields of Bouteloua gracilis (Willd. ex Kunth) Lag. ex Griffiths. Overall, these results suggest that any growing season defoliation reduces yields, although where defoliation is necessary at that time, production may be more likely to be maintained under HILF defoliation. More studies examining long-term growth responses to defoliation that include variation in vegetation types, environmental conditions, and defoliation regime are warranted. © 2017 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Livestock Exclusion Impacts on Oak Savanna Habitats - Differential Responses of Understory and Open Habitats

    Stahlheber, K.A.; D'Antonio, C.M.; Tyler, C.M. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Large grazing animals can have profound impacts on plant communities and soil properties; however, these impacts are not always uniform across or within regions. The distribution of features such as forage quality, water, or shade within a pasture can change the behavior of grazers and thus, the impact of their grazing. Where managed livestock grazing has been proposed as a conservation tool to enhance or maintain desirable plant communities, understanding how spatial variation between tree and intertree habitats within a savanna landscape affects the response of vegetation and soil properties to grazing will be critical for designing management plans for different sites. In this study, we used a previously established, long-term livestock grazing experiment in California oak [Quercus L.] savannas to investigate how the removal of grazing affected plant communities and soil characteristics underneath and outside of isolated tree canopies. In the oak understory, plant community composition shifted in response to livestock removal, largely due to a 68-400% increase in the relative cover of native species. Overall plant community composition in open grassland neighboring trees changed little in response to livestock grazing removal, yet we did see a decrease in species richness and diversity surrounding deciduous oaks as the dominance of the exotic annual Bromus diandrus Roth increased. The depth of plant litter increased 1-2 cmin both habitat types when livestock grazing was absent, along with minor changes in soil carbon, nitrogen, and bulk density. These results highlight how different habitat patches within savanna landscape can have varying responses to grazing removal and illustrate how challenging it will be to use grazing as a management tool to enhance the diversity of native species. In the oak understory, native species that are tolerant of herbivory may be absent or unable to coexist with non-native annual grasses. The abundance of understory habitat at a particular site may therefore be an important variable predicting the outcome of livestock grazing. © 2017 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Long-Term Overgrazing-Induced Changes in Topsoil Water-Retaining Capacity in a Typical Steppe

    Li, X.; Hou, X.; Liu, Z.; Guo, F.; Ding, Y.; Duan, J. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Understanding changes in topsoil water balance induced by grazing is of great interest for both theoretical and applied reasons. It can elucidate the processes involved in grassland degradation and is of practical importance to enhancing ecosystem functions. Unfortunately, the lack of studies on how litter and soil in grazed grassland affect soil water evaporation leaves a major gap in our understanding of the mechanisms underlying water availability and vegetation dynamics. Here, we report controlled experiments conducted to determine the impact of long-term overgrazing on topsoil water-retention capacity and evaporation rates in semiarid grasslands. Additional consideration is given to grassland ecosystem composition (i.e., litter, soil structure, and presence of plant roots). The data used correspond to typical steppe ecosystems in Inner Mongolia, northern China, where the grassland utilization consists of long-term grazing and long-term enclosure (since the 1980s). We examined soil from grazed and ungrazed land under three experimental treatments (litter exclusion, structural soil damage, and root exclusion) and a control treatment (undisturbed soil). Water capacity of the grassland soil decreased significantly (by 23.53%) after long-term overgrazing. Litter exclusion, structural soil damage, and root exclusion, however, had no effects on water-retaining capacity compared with undisturbed soil. Additionally, long-term-grazed soil had significantly lower water-retaining capacity compared with ungrazed soil. Litter exclusion, soil damage, and root exclusion significantly increased evaporation rates relative to undisturbed soil. Relative to the litter treatment, soil structure and roots had reduced effects on water-retaining capacity. The relative evaporation rate was significantly increased by temperature and wind speed and decreased by relative humidity. However, of all external meteorological factors, temperature most strongly governed grassland soil water evaporation. Overall, the combined effects of overgrazing and climate warming on soil water evaporation will accelerate soil water loss in grassland regions. This has significant implications for the management of degraded grasslands. © 2017 Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of The Society for Range Management.
  • Precipitation and Soil Productivity Explain Effects of Grazing on Grassland Songbirds

    Lipsey, M.K.; Naugle, D.E. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Temperate grassland ecosystems are imperiled globally, and habitat loss in North America has resulted in steep declines of endemic songbirds. Commercial livestock grazing is the primary land use in rangelands that support remaining bird populations. Some conservationists suggest using livestock as "ecosystem engineers" to increase habitat heterogeneity in rangelands because birds require a spectrum of sparse to dense vegetation cover. However, grazing effects remain poorly understood because local studies have not incorporated broad-scale environmental constraints on herbaceous growth. We surveyed grassland birds across a region spanning 26 500 km2 in northeast Montana, United States to assess how distribution and abundance were affected by weather, soils, and grazing. We modeled bird abundance to characterize regional response to herbaceous cover, experimentally manipulated grazing to isolate its effect, and then scaled back up to evaluate how the regional environment constrains bird response to grazing. Regional models predict that a quarter of our study region was productive grassland where managed grazing could benefit specialist species; the remainder was nongrassland or low-productivity soils where it had low potential to affect habitat. Grassland species distributed themselves along a gradient of herbaceous cover with predictable shifts in community composition. We demonstrated experimentally that grazing influences bird communities within productive grasslands, with higher utilization promoting more Chestnut-collared Longspur (Calcarius ornatus) and fewer Baird's Sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii). Results inform a new conceptual framework for grazing that explicitly incorporates the role of broad-scale environmental constraints. © Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of The Society for Range Management.
  • Soil C, N, and P Stocks Evaluation under Major Land Uses on China's Loess Plateau

    Chen, X.; Hou, F.; Matthew, C.; He, X. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Loess Plateau covers 640 000 km2 in the central northern China. Despite a semiarid environment, harsh winters, and hot summers, agriculture has been practiced in this region for > 5 000 yr, and the food production systems are among China's oldest. The environment is fragile because the loessial soils are prone to erosion. Sound scientific information is therefore required to underpin future land use planning in the region. To this end, total soil organic carbon (SOC), N, and P stocks were measured in Huanxian County of the wider Loess Plateau, representing five major land use categories. Sites were sampled three times over 3 yr. In all, almost 2 800 soil analyses were performed. A feature of these soils is low SOC content in the A horizon but comparatively small decline with soil depth. For example, SOC levels for the 0-20 cm and 70-100 cmsoil depths averaged 6.1 and 4.1Mg ha-1, respectively. Alfalfa and rangeland sites had 5.1 Mg ha-1 (10%) more total than cropland and 7.5 t ha-1 (16%) more total SOC to 100-cm soil depth than the two silvopastoral sites. For total soil N (0- to 100-cm soil depth) the averages of alfalfa and RL siteswere 20% and 28%, respectively, higher than the cropland and silvopastoral site group means, although soil C, N, and P levels are very low, relative to those of typical soils elsewhere. When these observations are scaled up to a regional level, it can be calculated that a 5% shift in land use from cropping or silvopastoral systems to alfalfa-based systems could increase soil C sequestration by as many as 20 million t CO2 per yr, although some caution is needed in making extrapolations, as the present data are from a single locality on the Loess Plateau. © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of The Society for Range Management.
  • Historical and Modern Fire Regimes in Piñon-Juniper Woodlands, Dinosaur National Monument, United States

    Floyd, M.L.; Romme, W.H.; Hanna, D.P.; Hanna, D.D. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Twentieth-century fire exclusion has produced unnatural and undesirable changes in vegetation structure and dynamics of many rangelands of western North America, but not all kinds of ecosystems have been so affected. A comparison of the historical and modern fire regimes, especially in peripheral populations that can be particularly vulnerable to climatic change, can help guide fire management planning with information on the degree to which a local area has been altered by past fire exclusion. Historical fire rotations in piñon-juniper (Pinus edlis Engelm.-Juniperus spp. L.) woodlands vary widely across woodland types, hence management applications should be specific to local historical and modern fire characteristics. We asked if the modern fire rotation is similar to or longer than the historical fire rotation before arrival of Euro-American settlers on the northern woodland boundary in northwestern Colorado and northeastern Utah. This study was initiated by managers from Dinosaur National Monument (DINO) concerned that lack of 20th-century fire may have allowed unnatural expansion of piñon-juniper woodlands into grasslands and shrublands. Fire history analysis using dendrochronology methods suggests a historical (pre-1900) fire rotation of ca. 550 yr, comparable with or longer than many other woodlands on the Colorado Plateau. In contrast, analysis of digital fire records reveals that the fire rotation between 1981 and 2010 was substantially shorter than historical; if only natural fires are considered, the piñon-juniper fire rotation was 364 yr, and if anthropogenic fires were included, the fire rotation was 233 yr. This shorter fire rotation supports a previously documented contraction in woodland extent in DINO during the past 90 yr. Our data support reducing the amount of fire in the landscape to preserve the integrity of the natural vegetation of this and other piñon-juniper woodlands, especially under projections of warmer and drier future climates. © 2017 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Plant Community Dynamics 25 Years after Juniper Control

    Bates, J.D.; Svejcar, T.; Miller, R.; Davies, K.W. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    The expansion of piñon-juniper woodlands over the past 100-150 yr in the western United States has resulted in large-scale efforts to kill trees and recover sagebrush steppe rangelands. Western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis spp. occidentalisHook.) expansion in the northern Great Basin has reduced sagebrush-steppe productivity and habitat. Chainsaw cutting of western juniper woodlands is a commonly applied practice to kill trees and restore shrub-understory composition. Studies reporting vegetation response following juniper cutting have been limited to early successional stages. This study assessed successional dynamics spanning 25 yr following tree cutting on Steens Mountain, southeast Oregon. Herbaceous standing crop and yield and plant densities were compared between chainsaw cut (Cut) and uncut woodland (Control) treatments. Cut plots were treated in 1991. In the Cut, total standing crop and yield have remained fairly consistent since 1996 and on average were 8 times greater than the Control. Perennial grass yield was 2- to 20-fold greater in the Cut than the Control across measurement years and peaked 14 yr (2005) after treatment. Perennial bunchgrass yield declined to 30-40% of its peak value, and bunchgrass density declined from about 11 plants m-2 in 2005 to 7 plants m-2 between 2005 and 2016. Invasive annual grasses increased in yield and as a percentage of total yield from 3% to 20%, between 2005 and 2016. Juniper and shrub cover and density increases and greater annual grass yields in the Cut have likely contributed to declines in perennial bunchgrass density and yields. Juniper control will be necessary within 5 yr to maintain progression to sagebrush steppe, indicating a treatment longevity of about 25-30 yr. To lengthen the life expectancy of cutting and othermechanical control of piñon-juniper woodlands requires that all age classes of trees be controlled in the initial treatment. © Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of The Society for Range Management.
  • Small-Scale Woodland Reduction Practices Have Neutral or Negative Short-Term Effects on Birds and Small Mammals

    Bombaci, S.P.; Gallo, T.; Pejchar, L. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Woodland reduction has been underway for decades to improve habitat for certain wildlife species, increase forage for livestock, improve watershed function and reduce soil erosion, and increase plant community heterogeneity. Land managers have implemented a variety of techniques to reduce woodlands. Yet most studies on outcomes are observational and focus on plant communities; fewer studies experimentally compare the relative effects of woodland reduction methods on wildlife. We conducted an experiment to evaluate the effects of three mechanical tree removal methods on habitat use by native birds and abundance of small mammals in the first 2 yr after treatment. Located in the Piceance Basin, Colorado, United States, this study consisted of seven replicated 1-ha stands of pinyon-juniper woodland treated with chaining, roller-chop, hydro-ax, as well as untreated plots (n = 28 plots). We found no differences in initial bird habitat use or small mammal abundance among the woodland reduction treatment methods. However, we found evidence that habitat use was significantly lower in all woodland reduction treatment plots than in control plots for birds of dense woodland and open woodland habitats, and that use was positively associated with tree cover. Furthermore, no grassland or shrubland obligate birds used the treatment plots, suggesting that small-scale woodland reduction treatments may not provide attractive habitat for shrubland or grassland birds, at least within 2 yr following treatment. Because some bird species responded negatively to all methods of woodland reduction treatments, and no bird or small mammal species responded positively, the initial effects of small-scale chaining, roller-chop, and hydro-ax treatments on wildlife should not be overlooked. © 2017 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Consumption of Salt Cedar and Willow Baccharis by Boer-Cross Goats

    Muñoz, A.; Garcia, A.; Scott, C.; Owens, C. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Both salt cedar (Tamarix ramosissima Ledeb.) and willow baccharis (Baccharis salicina Torr. & Gray) are readily invading rivers, streams, and lake basins throughout Texas. Both outcompete desirable vegetation and reduce biodiversity. The purpose of this study was to determine if goats would consume either plant and if protein supplementation would improve intake. In Trial 1, 36 recently weaned Boer-cross goats were randomly allocated to four treatments. Treatments included feeding salt cedar, willow baccharis, both, or neither plant. Goats were fed salt cedar and/or willow baccharis for 1 h daily for 14 d with intake measured daily. All goats were also fed alfalfa pellets (2% body weight [BW]) throughout the trial to meet maintenance requirements. Goats ate more (P < 0.05) salt cedar than willow baccharis and increased intake of salt cedar over the 14 d of feeding. In Trial 2, 20 recently weaned Boer-cross goats were randomly allocated to two treatments. One treatment received a protein supplement (37%) daily in addition to salt cedar. The other treatment did not receive any additional protein. Regardless of treatment, all goats received alfalfa pellets (2.5% BW) to meet maintenance requirements. Both groups increased intake of salt cedar over 10 d of feeding. Protein supplementation did not improve intake of the plant. Given a choice, goats will consume more salt cedar than willow baccharis and will readily consume the plant. Protein supplementation will not improve intake of the plant, but goats will increase intake of the plant when fed the plant at weaning. © 2017 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Effects Energy Supplementation and Time on Use of Medusahead by Grazing Ewes and Their Lambs

    Montes-Sánchez, J.J.; Van Miegroet, H.; Villalba, J.J. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Medusahead is an annual weed that invades millions of acres in the western United States. This study explored the effect of energy supplementation on use of this unpalatable weed by ewes and their lambs. Thirty-six ewes with their lambs (2-3 mo old) were randomly assigned to 12 groups (3 ewes with their lambs per group), and half of the groups received 2.5 kg group d-1 of an energy-based supplement (beet pulp - barley - Ca-propionate, 66:30:4; as-fed basis). After supplementation, all groups grazed plots with medusahead infestation for 15 d. Lambs were then weaned, kept in the same groups but without supplementation, and allowed to graze medusahead-infested plots for 3 d. Grazing events were recorded daily at 5-min intervals, and defoliation of medusahead tillers was measured in all plots. The proportion of grazing events recorded on medusahead and the proportion of defoliated medusahead tillers were not affected by supplementation in either ewes or lambs (P &gt; 0.05). All ewe-lamb groups presented a greater proportion of medusahead use during the second half of the grazing period (P &lt; 0.05). Nevertheless, the average proportion of events recorded for medusahead use was never greater than 7%, which was similar to the relative availability of medusahead in the community (i.e., 6%). Use of medusahead by ewes was correlated with that observed for their lambs (r = 0.83; P &lt; 0.05), and weaned lambs showed a similar proportion of grazing events on medusahead to those observed before weaning (P &gt; 0.05). These results suggest that mothers influence medusahead use by their offspring. They also suggest that despite the low palatability of medusahead, sheepwill not avoid medusahead when grazing moderately infested rangeland. The diversity of the plant community likely contributed to this outcome, which might have also reduced the impact of the supplement on medusahead use by sheep. © 2017 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Revegetation of Medusahead-Invaded Rangelands in the Channeled Scablands of Eastern Washington

    Stonecipher, C.A.; Panter, K.E.; Jensen, K.B.; Rigby, C.W.; Villalba, J.J. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Vegetation on the Channeled Scablands of eastern Washington has been altered to a community dominated by medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae [L.] Nevski). Medusahead is used by livestock but becomes unpalatable as the plant matures and seed heads develop, thus decreasing carrying capacity. The objective of this study was to determine if improved cool-season grasses could establish and persist on medusahead-infested rangelands in the region. A split-plot randomized complete block design consisting of four blocks was established at three different locations. Plots were treated with herbicides to remove all vegetation and seeded in 2010. Seeded species included introduced cool-season grass cultivars: Hycrest II crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum [L.] Gaertn.), Vavilov II Siberian wheatgrass (Agropyron fragile [Roth] P. Candargy), Bozoisky II Russian wildrye (Psathyrostachys juncea [Fisch.] Nevski), and a native cool-season grass mix composed of Sherman big bluegrass (Poa secunda J. Presl), Secar Snake River wheatgrass (Elymus wawawaiensis J. Carlson & Barkworth), Bannock Thickspike wheatgrass (Elymus lanceolatus [Scribn. & J. G. Sm.] Gould), and Recovery Western wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii [Rydb.] Á Löve). Sherman big bluegrass was the only native species that established, and frequency was 65% at the end of the study. Hycrest II frequency was 48% at the end of the study. Vavilov II frequency was 50% at the end of the study. Sherman big bluegrass matured early in the season and had greater biomass production than Hycrest II and Vavilov II in May. The later-maturing Hycrest II and Vavilov II were similar in biomass production to Sherman big bluegrass in July. Bozoisky II had poor stand establishment and did not persist. Hycrest II, Vavilov II, and Sherman big bluegrass are forages that can be used for revegetation on the Channeled Scablands of eastern Washington. © Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of The Society for Range Management.
  • Downy Brome Control and Impacts on Perennial Grass Abundance: A Systematic Review Spanning 64 Years

    Monaco, T.A.; Mangold, J.M.; Mealor, B.A.; Mealor, R.D.; Brown, C.S. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Given the high cost of restoration and the underlying assumption that reducing annual grass abundance is a necessary precursor to rangeland restoration in the Intermountain West, United States, we sought to identify limitations and strengths of annual grass control methods and refine future management strategies. We systematically reviewed all published journal articles spanning a 64-yr period (1948-2012; n = 119) reporting data on research efforts to either directly or indirectly reduce the abundance of the most common invasive annual grass, downy brome (Bromus tectorum L.). The seven most common control methods studied were herbicide, burning, revegetation, woody removal, defoliation or grazing, soil disturbance, and soil amendment. In addition, the majority of control methods were 1) applied at scales of 10-100 m2, 2) sampled within small plots (i.e., 0.1-1.0 m2), 3) implemented only once, and 4)monitored at time scales that rarely exceeded 5 yr. We also performed summary analyses to assess how these control methods affect downy brome and perennial grass abundance (i.e., cover, density, biomass). We found conflicting evidence regarding the assumption that reducing downy brome abundance is necessary to enhance the growth and establishment of perennial grasses. All methods, with the exception of woody plant removal, significantly reduced downy brome in the short term, but downy brome abundance generally increased over time and only herbicide and revegetation remained reduced in the long term. Only burning, herbicide, and soil disturbance led to long-term increases in perennial grass abundance. We suggest that future research should prioritize a broader array of ecological processes to improve control efficacy and promote the reestablishment of desirable rangeland plant communities. © Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of The Society for Range Management.