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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 37 Number 3 2015

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The relative impacts of grazing, fire and invasion by buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris) on the floristic composition of a rangeland savanna ecosystem 
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Roderick J. Fensham, Jian Wang and Cameron Kilgour
pp. 227-237

In a study of the effects of grazing, fire and invasion by buffel grass, livestock grazing with light to moderate stocking rates and burning were found to be compatible with the conservation of floristic diversity in the savanna of north-eastern Australia but the invasion of the exotic buffel grass, Cenchrus ciliaris, diminished plant abundance and diversity. Land clearing exacerbates the spread of buffel grass and the control of this practice is an important contribution to the conservation of these savannas.


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Seed bank longevity and age to reproductive maturity of Calotropis procera (Aiton) W.T. Aiton in the dry tropics of northern Queensland 
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Faiz F. Bebawi, Shane D. Campbell and Robert J. Mayer
pp. 239-247

Calotropis procera (rubber bush) is an invasive weed posing a major threat to the grazing industry in northern Australia. A field study found that seed viability declined to zero in 15–24 months after burial and that plants flowered and set seed in 190 and 412 days, respectively, and its sister species C. gigantea, in 125 and 359 days, respectively. Annual control activities, therefore, should be sufficient to ensure that new plants do not produce seeds and replenish soil seed banks.


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Seed availability, landscape suitability and the regeneration of perennial grasses in moderately degraded rangelands in semiarid Australia 
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Judith M. Bean, Gavin J. Melville, Ronald B. Hacker and Stephen P. Clipperton
pp. 249-259

Regeneration of large areas of moderately degraded semiarid rangelands where perennial grasses have largely disappeared requires minimum-disturbance and low-cost methodologies. It is essential to understand whether the limiting factors to regeneration are the availability of seed of local species, or the availability of sites suitable for seed germination and seedling survival. This study found that, in areas not heavily infested by shrubs, seasonal conditions and features which enhanced natural landscape processes were the major factors promoting regeneration and not seed supply.


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Biomass retention and carbon stocks in integrated vegetation bands: a case study of mixed-age brigalow-eucalypt woodland in southern Queensland, Australia 
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Justin G. Ryan, Christine T. Fyfe and Clive A. McAlpine
pp. 261-271

This paper compares integrated vegetation bands to other methods of retaining regrowth of brigalow-eucalypt vegetation on their effects on biomass and carbon. Three sets of allometrics were applied to data recorded from regrowth of mixed-age brigalow-eucalypt to estimate aboveground biomass, carbon offsets (t CO2e) and monetary value. The results showed that retaining vegetation bands, and to a lesser extent big trees, can retain considerable amounts of aboveground biomass as economically valuable carbon offsets.


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A life cycle assessment approach to quantifying greenhouse gas emissions from land-use change for beef production in eastern Australia 
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Beverley K. Henry, D. Butler and S. G. Wiedemann
pp. 273-283

The land-use change component of the ‘carbon footprint’ of agricultural products frequently has a high uncertainty due to data limitations. In this study, datasets for tree cover and biomass derived from remote sensing and allometric equations demonstrated that the GHG flux due to LUC in eastern Australian grazed woodlands producing premium beef ranged from a significant emission to a net sink. Spatially- and temporally-consistent data, including rates of regrowth, will improve estimates of the climate change impact of livestock products under current vegetation management practices.


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Application of payment for ecosystem services in China’s rangeland conservation initiatives: a social-ecological system perspective 
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Yanbo Li, Mingming Fan and Wenjun Li
pp. 285-296

Payment for ecosystem services mechanism is unlikely to reach its goal in Alxa of Inner Mongolia, China. Because it decoupled local social-ecological system through excluding the grazing disturbance from rangeland ecosystem, spreading out pastoralists and thus open up space for destructive use of rangeland, and encouraging agricultural activities in the extreme dry areas which enhanced local water crisis. We propose ‘payment for social-ecological system resilience’ to displace ‘payment for ecosystem services’.


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The relationship between soil organic carbon and soil surface characteristics in the semi-arid rangelands of southern Australia 
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C. M. Waters, G. J. Melville, S. E. Orgill and Y. Alemseged
pp. 297-307

The potential for rangelands to sequester soil organic carbon is considered high although the variation in soil organic carbon across the landscape and down the soil profile is largely unknown. We show that levels of soil organic carbon vary according to both the presence of trees and ground cover, with higher soil organic carbon levels at the soil surface associated with trees and perennial ground cover. This suggests that to measure soil organic carbon across a paddock we have to understand the distribution of vegetation first.


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Effect of summer livestock grazing on plant species richness and composition in the Himalayan rangelands 
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Suman Aryal, Geoff Cockfield and Tek Narayan Maraseni
pp. 309-321

Transhumance grazing in the Himalayas is in decline due to accelerating change pressures. There is limited knowledge of the ecological role of such grazing in the Himalayan rangelands but the general perception is that grazing is detrimental to the biodiversity conservation. This study investigated patterns of plant species richness and composition at different distances from goths (semi-permanent stopping and camping points) to inform effects of traditional grazing to policies and practices.


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Ephemeral plant indicators of livestock grazing in arid rangelands during wet conditions 
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Helen P. Waudby and Sophie Petit
pp. 323-330

Understanding the effects of livestock (cattle) grazing on plant communities is critical for developing effective land management practices. Ephemeral annual plants dominate arid systems in wet years, providing a rare opportunity to study their responses to livestock grazing. Indicators of grazing intensity can be identified during these conditions, but their responses are not always consistent in view of known preferences, demonstrating the need for careful application of the indicator species concept.


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Published online 06 July 2015
Quantifying carbon sequestration on sheep grazing land in Australia for life cycle assessment studies 
B. K. Henry, D. Butler and S. G. Wiedemann

Carbon sequestration in reforestation, revegetation and pasture soils in Australian wool-producing regions was quantified in a life cycle assessment study using a combination of case-study farm and regional survey data. Enhanced woody vegetation and pasture management were estimated to offset greenhouse gas emissions per kilogram of greasy wool by 2–10% providing potential additional value to the productivity and agro-ecosystem benefits of shelterbelt trees, browse shrubs or improved pasture soils.

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Published online 01 July 2015
Climate change and adaptive capacity in the Western Australian rangelands: a review of current institutional responses 
Ellena Shaw and G. Bradd Witt

This study evaluated support for adaptive capacity in Western Australian rangelands. Eight indicators of adaptive capacity were used to evaluate publicly available documents. Progress towards adaptive capacity was classified as ‘aspirational’, ‘in action’ or ‘assessed’. Institutional support for adaptive capacity was evident. However, questions, such as whether the largely aspirational nature of documents reflect actual adaptation, and the extent to which stakeholders perceive that institutional support exists remain unanswered.

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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.

    RJ15052  Accepted 01 July 2015
    Sofía Marinaro, Héctor Grau

    RJ15010  Accepted 16 June 2015
    Preventing weed spread: a survey of lifestyle and commercial landholders about Nassella trichotoma in the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia
    Annemieke Ruttledge, Wal Whalley, Ian Reeve, David Backhouse, Brian Sindel

    RJ14063  Accepted 16 June 2015
    Use of simulations to enhance knowledge integration and livestock producers' adaptation to variability in the climate in northern Uruguay
    Hermes Morales, Jean Tourrand, Francisco Dieguez, Pierre Bommel, Danilo Bartaburu, Jorge Corral, Esteban Montes, Marcelo Pereira, Emilio Duarte, Pedro de Hegedus

    RJ15014  Accepted 11 June 2015
    The effects of a moratorium on land-clearing in the Douglas-Daly region, Northern Territory, Australia
    Michael Lawes, Romy Greiner, Ian Leiper, Ron Ninnis, Diane Pearson, Guy Boggs

    RJ15016  Accepted 22 May 2015
    The population dynamics of some arid zone plants, after forty-six years, on grazed quadrats at Mileura Station, Western Australia
    Stephen Davies, Silver Kenny, Matcham Walsh

    RJ14127  Accepted 21 May 2015
    Effects of grazing by large herbivores on plant diversity and productivity of semi-arid alpine steppe on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau
    Hasbagan Ganjurjav, Minjie Duan, Yunfan Wan, Weina Zhang, Qingzhu Gao, Yue Li, Wangzha Jiangcun, Luobu Danjiu, Hongbao Guo

    RJ15025  Accepted 15 May 2015
    Interactions between wildlife, humans and cattle: activity patterns of a remnant population of impala on the degraded Mutara Rangelands, Rwanda
    Torsten Wronski, Jean Bariyanga, Ann Apio, Martin Plath

    RJ15027  Accepted 13 May 2015
    Exploring appropriate livelihood alternatives for sustainable rangeland management
    Hojatollah Khedrigharibvand, Hossein Azadi, Frank Witlox

    RJ14101  Accepted 19 August 2014
    FOREWORD:- Fire - Carbon - Savanna special issue
    Tom Davison


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 24 September 2014
How hot? How often? Getting the fire frequency and timing right for optimal management of woody cover and pasture composition in northern Australian grazed tropical savannas. Kidman Springs Fire Experiment 1993–2013

Robyn A. Cowley, Mark H. Hearnden, Karen E. Joyce, Miguel Tovar-Valencia, Trisha M. Cowley, Caroline L. Pettit and Rodd M. Dyer

2. Published 15 May 2015
The relative impacts of grazing, fire and invasion by buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris) on the floristic composition of a rangeland savanna ecosystem

Roderick J. Fensham, Jian Wang and Cameron Kilgour

3. Published 28 October 2014
Resting pastures to improve land condition in northern Australia: guidelines based on the literature and simulation modelling

Joe C. Scanlan, John G. McIvor, Steven G. Bray, Robyn A. Cowley, Leigh P. Hunt, Lester I. Pahl, Neil D. MacLeod and Giselle L. Whish

4. Published 24 September 2014
Fire and carbon management in a diversified rangelands economy: research, policy and implementation challenges for northern Australia

Dionne Walsh, Jeremy Russell-Smith and Robyn Cowley

5. Published 24 September 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

6. Published 24 September 2014
Carbon projects and Indigenous land in northern Australia

Jeremy Dore, Christine Michael, Jeremy Russell-Smith, Maureen Tehan and Lisa Caripis

7. Published 5 December 2014
Herders’ perception of climate change does not always fit with actual climate change

Xiliang Li, Zhen Wang, Xiangyang Hou, Zhiying Liu, Sarula, Yanting Yin, Yong Ding and Jing Hu

8. Published 5 December 2014
The response of grassland productivity, soil carbon content and soil respiration rates to different grazing regimes in a desert steppe in northern China

Xiangyang Hou, Zhen Wang, Schellenberg P. Michael, Lei Ji and Xiangjun Yun

9. Published 5 December 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

10. Published 27 March 2015
A novel protocol for assessment of aboveground biomass in rangeland environments

Charity Mundava, Antonius G. T. Schut, Petra Helmholz, Richard Stovold, Graham Donald and David W. Lamb

11. Published 24 September 2014
Impacts of fire on soil organic carbon stocks in a grazed semi-arid tropical Australian savanna: accounting for landscape variability

D. E. Allen, P. M. Bloesch, R. A. Cowley, T. G. Orton, J. E. Payne and R. C. Dalal

12. Published 27 March 2015
The future of food production research in the rangelands: challenges and prospects for research investment, organisation and human resources

C. W. Roxburgh and J. E. Pratley

13. Published 24 September 2014
Opportunities for fire and carbon on pastoral properties in the savanna rangelands: perspectives from the Indigenous Land Corporation and the Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association

Nerissa Walton, Hilary Smith, Luke Bowen, Paul Mitchell, Emma Pethybridge, Tracey Hayes and Michael O'Ryan

14. Published 5 December 2014
Climate changes during the past 31 years and their contribution to the changes in the productivity of rangeland vegetation in the Inner Mongolian typical steppe

Xinhong Wu, Peng Li, Chao Jiang, Pengtao Liu, Jing He and Xiangyang Hou

15. Published 5 December 2014
Response of the annual biomass production of a typical steppe plant community to precipitation fluctuations

Zhen Wang, Qing Zhang, Xiaoping Xin, Yong Ding, Xiangyang Hou, Sarula, Xiliang Li, Haijun Chen, Yanting Yin, Jing Hu and Zhongling Liu

16. Published 24 September 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

L. P. Hunt

17. Published 28 October 2014
The benefits of seed enrichment on sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) populations, after 17 years, in semi-arid Western Australia

Jonathan E. Brand, Benjamin Sawyer and David R. Evans

18. Published 5 December 2014
Assessment of vulnerability to climate change in the Inner Mongolia steppe at a county scale from 1980 to 2009

Tingting Yang, Peng Li, Xinhong Wu, Xiangyang Hou, Pengtao Liu and Guozheng Yao

19. Published 5 December 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 and Sarula

20. Published 5 December 2014
Evaluation of the livelihood vulnerability of pastoral households in Northern China to natural disasters and climate change

Wenqiang Ding, Weibo Ren, Ping Li, Xiangyang Hou, Xiaolong Sun, Xiliang Li, Jihong Xie and Yong Ding

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Volume 37 (3)

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