Grazing impacts on selected soil parameters under short-term forage sequences.

Mapfumo, E.
Chanasyk, D.S.
Baron, V.S.
Naeth, M.A.
Rangeland Ecology & Management / Journal of Range Management Archives
Publication Year: 
Long-term cultivation is known to change soil physical and chemical properties, but little is known about whether short-term agricultural practices, such as rotational grazing, can initiate such changes. This study investigated the impacts of 3 grazing intensities (heavy, medium, and light) and 4 forages on selected soil physical and chemical parameters of a Typic Haplustoll at Lacombe, Alberta. Measurements were conducted on soil samples collected at the beginning (1993) and the end (1996) of the study. Two perennial forages, smooth bromegrass (Bromus inermis cv. 'Carlton') and meadow bromegrass (Bromus riparius cv. 'Paddock'), and 2 annuals, a mixture of triticale (X Triticosecale Wittmack cv. 'Pika') and barley (Hordeum vulgare L. cv. 'AC Lacombe') and triticale alone were used for the study. Grazing intensity or forage species did not affect carbon-to-nitrogen ratio. Grazing intensity influenced changes in available water holding capacity for the 0-5 cm interval, soil nitrogen for the 30-45 cm interval, soil pH for the 5-15 cm interval and electrical conductivity for all depth intervals except for the 0-5 cm interval (P less than or equal to 0.05). Forage species affected changes in soil carbon in the 0-5 cm interval, soil pH between 0 and 15 cm, and electrical conductivity between 5 and 45 cm (P less than or equal to 0.05). Soil electrical conductivities for all grazing levels and forage treatments were within the range (i.e. 0-2 dS m-1) considered to have negligible effects on plant growth. The minimal effects of grazing and plant species on soil parameters in this study may have been due to the resilient intrinsic properties of the soil and/or the short study length.DOI:10.2458/azu_jrm_v53i5_mapfumo
Document Type: 
Journal Issue/Article
Society for Range Management

Rangeland Ecology & Management (formerly the Journal of Range Management) serves as a forum for the presentation and discussion of facts, ideas, and philosophies pertaining to the study, management, ecology, and use of rangelands and their resources. The journal is peer-reviewed and provides international exchange of scholarly research and information among persons interested in rangelands. The Global Rangelands collection includes REM content up to 5 years from the current year. More recent content is available by subscription from BioOne and the Society for Range Management, and may be available at your local university library.
(Become a SRM member)