Vegetation and soil responses to short-duration grazing on fescue grasslands

Dormaar, J. F., A. Smoliak, W. D. Willms
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Dormaar et al. test the claim that a short-duration grazing system can improve range condition, even under intense stocking rates, by using grazing exclosures in this 5-year Alberta study. In grazed plots, soil moisture and hydraulic conductivity were lower and bulk density was higher than in exclosures, indicating the negative effects of short-duration grazing on soil physical properties. Grazed areas also had lower C and N contents, lower soil polysaccharides of a microbial nature and less litter deposited into the soil than ungrazed areas. This indicates the negative effects of this management on soil chemical properties. After five years, short-duration grazing negatively affected range condition and the physical and chemical characteristics of the soils at this site, suggesting that the claims made about this grazing management technique are not applicable to this study area and may need to be re-evaluated.
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Montana State University

The Range Science Information System (RSIS) bibliography has over 1,300 peer-reviewed bibliographic citations to professional journal articles and documents focused on: riparian, weeds, rangeland, wildlife, vegetation and soils research. Article bibliograhic citations include additional research information such as: the type of article (primary research, synthesis article or case study), location of study, a summary of methods or area of influence, major findings or main points, topic categories, and annotations.