Submitted to: Wildland Shrub Symposium Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 12, 2004
Publication Date: August 1, 2004
Citation: Gillen, R.L., Sims, P.L. 2004. Long-term response of sand sagebrush to grazing intentisy [abstract]. Wildland Shrub Symposium. p. 54. Technical Abstract: Sand sagebrush (Artemisia filifolia Torr.) commonly dominates vegetation on stabilized sand dunes in the Southern and Central Great Plains. Little research information is available on the reaction of sand sagebrush to grazing intensity but the shrub has been considered by land managers to increase as grazing intensity increases. We monitored sand sagebrush canopy cover in four separate long-term grazing studies, ranging from 9 to 20 years in duration. All studies included moderate and heavy grazing intensities. The studies encompassed both wet and dry precipitation periods. In 3 studies, grazing intensity did not affect canopy cover of sand sagebrush in pastures which had never been subjected to sagebrush control. In the fourth study, grazing intensity did not affect the rate of re-establishment of sand sagebrush in pastures from which the shrub was initially removed. Canopy cover of sand sagebrush was twice as high during wet periods as dry periods but these fluctuations were independent of grazing intensity. Weather was a much greater influence on the dynamics of sand sagebrush canopy than grazing intensity.