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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research

Title: An international terminology for grazing lands and grazing animals

item Allen, Vivien
item Batello, Caterina
item Berretta, Elbio
item Hodgson, John
item Kothmann, Mort
item Li, Xianglin
item Mclvor, John
item Milne, John
item Morris, Craig
item Peeters, Alain
item Sanderson, Matt

Submitted to: Grass and Forage Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/20/2010
Publication Date: 2/9/2011
Citation: Allen, V., Batello, C., Berretta, E., Hodgson, J., Kothmann, M., Li, X., Mclvor, J., Milne, J., Morris, C., Peeters, A., Sanderson, M.A. 2011. An international terminology for grazing lands and grazing animals. Grass and Forage Science. 66(1):2-28. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2494.2010.00780.x.

Interpretive Summary: This publication “An International Terminology for Grazing Lands and Grazing Animals” revises and updates the first edition, which was published in 1991. The first edition of the terminology clarified many overlapping terms and definitions and also struck down imprecise or misleading terms, which were deemed “not recommended” for use in the scientific literature. The first edition was focused on terminology specific to North America. In this second edition, an international committee of grassland scientists have reviewed the 1991 edition, made extensive revisions and updated several terms, and added new terminology to reflect the global nature and importance of grazing lands, grasslands, rangelands, and pastures. This publication will be the standard reference for scientific terminology related to grazing lands and will benefit grassland scientists worldwide by provided precise standard terminology for effective communication.

Technical Abstract: In 1991, Terminology for Grazing Lands and Grazing Animals was published with the objective of ‘developing a consensus of clear definitions of terms used in the grazing of animals.’ During the XVIII International Grassland Congress, held in Canada in 1997, a new Terminology working group was formed to begin discussions regarding the first revision of this publication. As was the objective from the beginning, this first revision was to be international in scope and a focused effort was made to include broad international representation and expertise. As with the first edition of Terminology, our objective has been to develop a consensus of terms and definitions to ensure clear international communication regarding grazing lands and grazing animals. Terms included here have relevance to both domesticated and wild grazing animals. It is intended that these terms enhance communication in education, science, industry, and production and that they become the standard for use in publications. It has been our goal to include terms that are relevant specifically to grazing lands and grazing animals and to present these, where appropriate, in a hierarchy that shows the relationships among such terms. We have attempted to agree on a single, concise definition for each term and to avoid multiple definitions. Because of international variations in a few terms, we have included a list of the various international interpretations in an Appendix but have recommended the use of a specific term and definition. It is hoped that this will take us toward a more uniform international language. Finally, as we reviewed terms and definitions, there were some that did not appear to contribute to clear communication. We have listed these in an Appendix and provided an explanation for our recommendation that they not be used.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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