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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SEMIARID RANGELAND ECOSYSTEMS: THE CONSERVATION-PRODUCTION INTERFACE Title: Plant Diversity: Effects of Grazing System and Stocking Rate in Northern Mixed-Grass Prairie

Authors
item Derner, Justin
item Hickman, Karen -

Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 25, 2009
Publication Date: February 22, 2010
Citation: Derner, J.D., Hickman, K. 2010. Plant Diversity: Effects of Grazing System and Stocking Rate in Northern Mixed-Grass Prairie. Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts P C-91.

Technical Abstract: Effects of grazing system, stocking rate, and grazing system X stocking rate interactions, on plant diversity are poorly understood in rangelands. A grazing system (season-long and short-duration rotational grazing) X stocking rate (light: 16 steers•80 ha-1, moderate: 4 steers•12 ha-1 and heavy: 4 steers•9 ha-1) study was initiated in 1982 on northern mixed-grass prairie. We sampled 25, 0.1 m2 (0.2 x 0.5 m) quadrats randomly located on replicated transects in treatment pastures in mid-July from 2003-2006. Basal cover of species was visually estimated using modified Daubenmire cover categories of: 1=0-5%, 2=6-15%, 3=16-25%, 4=26-40%, 5=41=60% and 6= >60%. Midpoint values of cover classes were used in analyses. Total basal cover was higher with season-long heavy compared to moderate stocking, but did not differ with stocking rate under the short-duration rotational grazing. Plant species richness was higher with heavy compared to moderate stocking for both the season-long and short-duration rotational grazing systems. Plant species richness was higher for short-duration rotational grazing than season-long grazing at both the moderate and heavy stocking rates. These results showcase that both grazing system and stocking rate influence plant diversity in the northern mixed-grass prairie.

Last Modified: 12/18/2014
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