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  Rangeland Ecology & Management
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The Rangeland Journal publishes original work on the biophysical, social, cultural, economic, and policy influences affecting rangeland use and management. More

Editor-in-Chief: John Milne


blank image The Rangeland Journal
Volume 36 Number 3 2014

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Virtual herding for flexible livestock management – a review 
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Dean M. Anderson , Rick E. Estell , Jerry L. Holechek , Shanna Ivey and Geoffrey B. Smith
pp. 205-221

Twenty first century electronics offers exciting opportunities for the real-time management of free–ranging livestock. Once a proper stocking rate is determined livestock distribution remains the second biggest challenge when managing animal dominated landscapes. Virtual fencing promises to be a practical solution for managing animal distribution using a low-stress, flexible, pro-active real-time management approach that will optimize plant and animal productivity anywhere in the world.

   |        Open Access Article

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Sustainable grazing management for temporal and spatial variability in north Australian rangelands – a synthesis of the latest evidence and recommendations 
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Peter O'Reagain , Joe Scanlan , Leigh Hunt , Robyn Cowley and Dionne Walsh
pp. 223-232

The inherent variability of annual rainfall and large, spatially-variable paddocks pose significant challenges to the sustainable management of rangelands. This paper reviews the latest research on the rangelands of northern Australia and assesses the extent to which current management recommendations are supported. Overall, land condition will be maintained or improved and long-term profitability maximised by flexible stocking around long-term carrying capacity, periodic wet-season spelling and managing for even utilisation within paddocks.


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Phosphorus content of the soil influences the growth and productivity of Themeda triandra Forssk. and Microlaena stipoides (Labill.) R.Br. 
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Cameron E. F. Clark , Meredith L. Mitchell , Mohammed R. Islam and Brent Jacobs
pp. 233-237

Native grasses such as weeping and kangaroo grass are present in a large proportion of Australia’s pastoral area which has deficient soil phosphorus levels. Despite this, there are very little data on the response of native grasses to increasing contents of phosphorus in the soil. Our findings highlight differences between species in DM production between native grass species after addition of phosphorus to soil to achieve a range of phosphorus contents in soil. These differences help explain the spatial variability of weeping and kangaroo grass given current management practices across Australia’s rangelands.


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A rapid survey method for estimating population density of European rabbits living in native vegetation 
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Greg Mutze , Brian Cooke , Mark Lethbridge and Scott Jennings
pp. 239-247

Sparse rabbit populations cause severe damage to native vegetation in Australia but the problem is poorly recognised because it is difficult to estimate rabbit abundance accurately in dense vegetation. A simple, quick method of estimating rabbit density during vegetation surveys by counting rabbit dung pellets in small quadrats is proposed. This methodology is seen as particularly useful in providing a tool to allow rabbit densities to be estimated and then compared with the thresholds, determined separately, at which damage occurs for given ecosystems.


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Life histories of two arid-zone shrubs change with differences in habitat, grazing and climate 
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P. Norman , R. Denham and M. J. Calvert
pp. 249-257

This paper reports on a life-history study for two widespread and common shrubs of semiarid eastern Australia (Eremophila sturtii R.Br. and Dodonaea viscosa subsp. angustissima J.G.West). Both species establish quickly, become sexually mature at a comparatively young age and once they have reached sexual maturity were long-lived, particularly when growing on sandplain. Severe drought significantly increased mortality for plants in the intermediate development stage, particularly for Dodonaea viscosa subsp. angustissima growing on sandhill. Exposure to livestock grazing had limited impact on plants of either species or in any development stage.


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Foliar herbicide control of sticky florestina (Florestina tripteris DC.) 
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John McKenzie , Dannielle Brazier , Shane Campbell , Joseph Vitelli , Angela Anderson and Robert Mayer
pp. 259-265

Sticky florestina is an accidentally introduced herbaceous weed that currently has a limited distribution in western Queensland, but has the potential to invade large areas of Australia’s rangelands. Experiments identified effective foliar herbicides that can be applied to control both adult and seedling plants of sticky florestina. A minor use permit has since been issued by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority allowing for three readily available chemicals to be sprayed in Queensland at specified rates for control of florestina using both spot and boom spray applications.


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The sustainable development of grassland-livestock systems on the Tibetan plateau: problems, strategies and prospects 
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Z. H. Shang , M. J. Gibb , F. Leiber , M. Ismail , L. M. Ding , X. S. Guo and R. J. Long
pp. 267-296

If not addressed, the current problems facing the grassland-livestock industry of the Tibetan plateau will lead to catastrophic collapse of the environment, livelihoods and ecological function of the plateau.  After a systematic review of eighteen strategies studied by researchers in recent decades, a novel model of double settlement is proposed in order to provide the opportunity of retaining a nomadic pastoral model and providing settlement required by the younger generations.  Such a model may also provide a solution for the challenges common to many nomadic people across the world. 


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Proximate causes and possible adaptive functions of mast seeding and barren flower shows in spinifex grasses (Triodia spp.) in arid regions of Australia 
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Boyd R. Wright , Alain F. Zuur and Gary C. K. Chan
pp. 297-308

Triodia grasses, from arid regions within Australia’s 350-mm rainfall isohyet, are fire-sensitive masting plants that occur in environments subject to climate-driven fire regimes. We conducted a herbarium-based study and found that reproduction in these Triodia is determined by high precipitation over 12 months, and that high-yield years correspond to years of increased fire likelihood. We hypothesise that masting in Triodia in arid regions is a fire-related form of environmentally predictive masting, which facilitates post-fire recruitment via the satiation of seed predators during flammable periods.


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Corrigendum to: Impacts of level of utilisation by grazing on an Astrebla (Mitchell grass) grassland in north-western Queensland between 1984 and 2010. 1. Herbage mass and population dynamics of Astrebla spp. 
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D. M. Orr and D. G. Phelps
pp. 309-309
 |    Corrigendum PDF (726 KB) - $25.00  

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Corrigendum to: Impacts of level of utilisation by grazing on an Astrebla (Mitchell grass) grassland in north-western Queensland between 1984 and 2010. 2. Plant species richness and abundance 
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D. M. Orr and D. G. Phelps
pp. 309-309
 |    Corrigendum PDF (682 KB) - $25.00  

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Corrigendum to: Can changes to pasture management reduce runoff and sediment loss to the Great Barrier Reef? The results of a 10-year study in the Burdekin catchment, Australia 
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Rebecca Bartley , Jeff P. Corfield , Aaron A. Hawdon , Anne E. Kinsey-Henderson , Brett N. Abbott , Scott N. Wilkinson and Rex J. Keen
pp. 311-311
 |    Corrigendum PDF (2.1 MB) - $25.00  

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Published online 18 July 2014
Fire patterns in north Australian savannas: extending the reach of incentives for savanna fire emissions abatement 
Peter J. Whitehead, Jeremy Russell-Smith and Cameron Yates

We examine fire patterns and associated greenhouse gas emissions in north Australian savannas over a period of 15 years. We seek to identify the geographic area over which it may be plausible, under Australian carbon farming law, to extend options to earn carbon credits by reducing fire-generated emissions. We conclude that significant abatement may be achieved using approved methods in areas receiving above 600 mm rainfall annually but also showing extreme rainfall seasonality, evidenced by rainfall of less than 15 mm in the driest quarter.

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Published online 17 June 2014
Effects of mowing regimes and climate variability on hay production of Leymus chinensis (Trin.) Tzvelev grassland in northern China 
Taogetao Baoyin, Frank Yonghong Li, Qinghai Bao, Hugjiltu Minggagud and Yankai Zhong

Haymaking is an important practice for preparing winter feed for livestock production in northern China. Effects of four mowing regimes and climate variability on hay production in a Leymus chinensis natural grassland were investigated over 27 years. The results suggest that the best haymaking practice should be based on the rule of ‘mowing once a year’ in high-production years and grazing in low-production years.

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These articles have been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. They are still in production and have not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

    RJ13050  Accepted 19 July 2014
    Grazing primarily drives the relative abundance change of C4 plants in the typical steppe grasslands across households at a regional scale
    Qing Zhang, Yong Ding, Wenjing Ma, Sarula Kang, Xin Li, Jianming Niu, Xiangyang Hou, Xiliang Li, Sarula Sarula

    RJ13122  Accepted 05 July 2014
    Fire and carbon management in a diversified rangelands economy: research, policy and implementation challenges for northern Australia
    Dionne Walsh, Jeremy Russell-Smith, Robyn Cowley

    RJ14022  Accepted 03 July 2014
    Impacts of climate change on net primary productivity of grasslands in Inner Mongolia
    qiuyue Li, Debao Tuo, Lizhen Zhang, Xiaoyu Wei, Yurong Wei, Ning Yang, Yinlong Xu, Niels Anten, Xuebiao Pan

    RJ14026  Accepted 26 June 2014
    The benefits of seed enrichment on the populations of sandalwood trees (Santalum spicatum) after 17 years in semi-arid Western Australia
    Jonathan Brand, Benjamin Sawyer, David Evans

    RJ13123  Accepted 05 June 2014
    Aboveground and belowground carbon dynamics in response to fire regimes in the grazed rangelands of northern Australia: initial results from field studies and modelling
    Leigh Hunt

The Most Read ranking is based on the number of downloads from the CSIRO PUBLISHING website of articles published in the previous 12 months. Usage statistics are updated daily.

Rank Paper Details
1. Published 3 April 2014
Principles and guidelines for managing cattle grazing in the grazing lands of northern Australia: stocking rates, pasture resting, prescribed fire, paddock size and water points – a review

L. P. Hunt, J. G. McIvor, A. C. Grice and S. G. Bray

2. Published 13 January 2014
Can changes to pasture management reduce runoff and sediment loss to the Great Barrier Reef? The results of a 10-year study in the Burdekin catchment, Australia

Rebecca Bartley, Jeff P. Corfield, Aaron A. Hawdon, Anne E. Kinsey-Henderson, Brett N. Abbott, Scott N. Wilkinson and Rex J. Keen

3. Published 21 October 2013
Landscape ecology: its role as a trans-disciplinary science for rangeland sustainability

Diane M. Pearson

4. Published 22 July 2013
Vegetation changes through the eyes of the locals: the ‘artificial wilderness’ in the mulga country of south-west Queensland

G. B. Witt

5. Published 13 January 2014
Establishing the carrying capacity of the grasslands of China: a review

Y. J. Zhang, X. Q. Zhang, X. Y. Wang, N. Liu and H. M. Kan

6. Published 13 January 2014
Incorporating farmed goats into sustainable rangeland grazing systems in southern Australia: a review

Ronald B. Hacker and Yohannes Alemseged

7. Published 22 July 2013
Grassland dynamics in response to climate change and human activities in Inner Mongolia, China between 1985 and 2009

S. J. Mu, Y. Z. Chen, J. L. Li, W. M. Ju, I. O. A. Odeh and X. L. Zou

8. Published 13 January 2014
Introduction of Dorper sheep into Australian rangelands: implications for production and natural resource management

Yohannes Alemseged and Ronald B. Hacker

9. Published 13 January 2014
Working Knowledge: characterising collective indigenous, scientific, and local knowledge about the ecology, hydrology and geomorphology of Oriners Station, Cape York Peninsula, Australia

M. Barber, S. Jackson, J. Shellberg and V. Sinnamon

10. Published 22 July 2013
Can livestock and fires convert the sub-tropical mountain rangelands of central Argentina into a rocky desert?

A. M. Cingolani, M. V. Vaieretti, M. A. Giorgis, N. La Torre, J. I. Whitworth-Hulse and D. Renison

11. Published 26 June 2014
A rapid survey method for estimating population density of European rabbits living in native vegetation

Greg Mutze, Brian Cooke, Mark Lethbridge and Scott Jennings

12. Published 26 June 2014
Sustainable grazing management for temporal and spatial variability in north Australian rangelands – a synthesis of the latest evidence and recommendations

Peter O'Reagain, Joe Scanlan, Leigh Hunt, Robyn Cowley and Dionne Walsh

13. Published 22 July 2013
Stream-bed and flood-plain rehabilitation at Mulloon Creek, Australia: a financial and economic perspective

Leo Dobes, Nathan Weber, Jeff Bennett and Sue Ogilvy

14. Published 3 April 2014
A comparison of stocking methods for beef production in northern Australia: pasture and soil surface condition responses

Trevor J. Hall, John G. McIvor, David J. Reid, Paul Jones, Neil D. MacLeod, Cam K. McDonald and David R. Smith

15. Published 21 October 2013
Pastoralists’ knowledge of plant palatability and grazing indicators in an arid region of South Australia

Helen P. Waudby, Sophie Petit and Guy Robinson

16. Published 3 April 2014
Remotely-sensed analysis of ground-cover change in Queensland’s rangelands, 1988–2005

G. Bastin, R. Denham, P. Scarth, A. Sparrow and V. Chewings

17. Published 21 October 2013
The ages and fecundity of some arid-zone plants in Western Australia

S. J. J. F. Davies and S. A. Kenny

18. Published 22 July 2013
The validation of a model estimating the Leaf Area Index of grasslands in southern China

Chengming Sun, Zhengguo Sun, Tao Liu, Doudou Guo, Shaojie Mu, Hongfei Yang, Weimin Ju and Jianlong Li

19. Published 13 January 2014
The polyploid nature of Cenchrus ciliaris L. (Poaceae) has been overlooked: new insights for the conservation and invasion biology of this species – a review

Amina Kharrat-Souissi, Sonja Siljak-Yakovlev, Spencer C. Brown, Alex Baumel, Franck Torre and Mohamed Chaieb

20. Published 22 July 2013
Evaluation of net primary productivity and its spatial and temporal patterns in southern China’s grasslands

Z. G. Sun, X. H. Long, C. M. Sun, W. Zhou, W. M. Ju and J. L. Li

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Volume 36 (3)

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