Submitted to: Crop Management
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2011
Publication Date: 12/1/2011
Citation: Franzluebbers, A.J. 2011. Soil health of grasslands [abstract]. Crop Management.
Technical Abstract: Soil properties change with time when exposed to perennial grass cover and when subsequently grazed by cattle, because of the large input of organic matter that typically occurs at the soil surface from senescent plant residues and animal manure. Accumulation of organic matter at the soil surface results in a cascade of effects on several key soil functions, such as enhancing soil fertility to improve plant productivity, providing a habitat for soil-dwelling organisms, stabilizing soil to resist erosive forces of wind and water, and creating a porous surface structure to promote water infiltration and subsequent retention in the underlying matrix. Examples of how pasture management can affect surface soils in time and space will be presented.