Herbage production following litter removal on Alberta native grasslands

Willms, W. D., S. Smoliak, A. W. Bailey
Publication Year: 
The authors conducted several experiments on the effects of removing litter and mulch from prairie grasslands on the herbage production and other factors in following years. Herbage production was not significantly affected by litter and mulch removal, although there was a trend in increasing forb yields and decreasing grass yields. Mulch and litter removal significantly affected rough fescue, making tillers shorter. This length was significantly affected by the severity of the litter removal, but not the season of removal. When litter was clipped and removed, a slight (non-significant) trend for higher herbage yield was observed. However, when litter was clipped and returned to the plot, yield significantly increased. In fescue prairie, dormant season grazing should have no negative effect. However, in mixed prairie, dormant season grazing could decrease forage yields.
Montana State University

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