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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: Paul Novelly


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Published online 20 July 2016
Dietary selection by goats and the implications for range management in the Chihuahuan Desert: a review 
M. Mellado

Goats have depended solely on forages within the Chihuahuan Desert for centuries and they constitute a ready source of cash income and food for peasants. Goats in this region are vigorous foragers capable of selecting nutrients in amounts to meet their needs for growth, milk yield and gestation. They are well adapted to overcome scarcity of food on the Chihuahuan Desert rangelands and so their production constitutes a sustainable system favouring wildlife habitat, shrub control and beef cattle production.

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Published online 11 July 2016
Comparative daily energy expenditure and water turnover by Dorper and Merino sheep measured using doubly labelled water 
Adam J. Munn, Yohannes Alemseged, Catharina Vendl, Mathew Stewart and Keith Leggett

Dorpers are an emerging rangelands stock in Australia, but information of their grazing pressures relative to traditional Merino sheep is unknown. We found no differences in the metabolic rate or water usage of dry Dorper ewes and Merino wethers in a small paddock. From these trials we conclude that Dorper ewes could be considered to have a dry sheep equivalents of 1, but we caution that extensive broad-scale (paddock-sized) trials are much needed to fully appreciate differences between these breeds under rangelands conditions.

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Published online 07 July 2016
Influence of selected environmental factors on seed germination and seedling survival of the arid zone invasive species tobacco bush (Nicotiana glauca R. Graham) 
Singarayer K. Florentine, Sandra Weller, Patrick F. Graz, Martin Westbrooke, Arunthathy Florentine, Mansoor Javaid, Nimesha Fernando, Bhagirath S. Chauhan and Kim Dowling

This paper examines effects of stress factors on seeds and seedlings of an invasive species, Nicotiana glauca. Results show the species is able to germinate over a broad range of temperatures. Germination is reduced by water stress and is greatest when seeds are on the soil surface. Seedling emergence decreased as planting depth increased. Studies such as this are important in the development of control strategies for invasive species.

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Published online 24 June 2016
Insights into feral goat movement in Australia using dynamic Brownian Bridges for movement analysis 
Mark R. Lethbridge

Movement analyses were conducted for 50 satellite-tracked goats within two land systems across southern Australia. Changes in movement behaviour were identified and sedentary behaviour (home ranges) was partitioned from long-distance movement events (called ranging). Understanding these two distinct forms of goat movement is important in the planning and budgeting of removal operations.

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Published online 14 June 2016
A 150-year fire history of mulga (Acacia aneura F. Muell. ex Benth.) dominated vegetation in semiarid Queensland, Australia 
J. L. Silcock, G. B. Witt and R. J. Fensham

There is little empirical evidence that reduced fire frequency since pastoral settlement has caused the thickening of mulga and understorey shrub species in mulga-dominated communities of eastern Australia. Our detailed reconstruction shows that fires are rare events associated with exceptional seasonal conditions which have occurred only a few times a century. Such fire histories can provide the foundation for more informed and nuanced debate about the role of fire in semiarid ecosystems.

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Published online 06 June 2016
Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacities and fatty acids profile of 18 alpine plants available as forage for yaks on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau 
Guangxin Cui, A. Allan Degen, Xiaoxing Wei, Jianwei Zhou, Luming Ding, Zhanhuan Shang, Xiaohong Wei and Ruijun Long

Yaks on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau are exposed to harsh environmental conditions, namely extreme UV light, hypoxia and cold, which could lead to high oxidative stress. Much of their diet consists of sedges and, therefore, to combat the oxidative stress, we predicted that sedges would contain higher antioxidant capacity than other alpine plants. Our prediction was not supported and, consequently, we concluded that other factors such as anti-nutritional contents and biomass availability are also important in determining dietary selection in yaks.

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Published online 27 May 2016
The future of yak farming in Bhutan: policy measures government should adopt 
Jigme Wangdi

Yak farming is a reliable source of livelihoods for the mountains’ pastoralists in Bhutan. Rapid economic changes coupled with the government policy thrust for the equitable and balanced socioeconomic development across the country have undermined the sustainability of the age-old traditions of yak farming. The government should put in place enabling and appropriate policy supports for yak research and development that will encourage younger pastoralists to take up and continue with the age-old tradition of yak farming.

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Published online 25 May 2016
The influence of shrub species and fine-scale plant density on arthropods in a semiarid shrubland 
Alan B. C. Kwok and David J. Eldridge

Shrubs are important habitat for arthropods, such as insects, but we know surprisingly little about how factors like shrub density and species affect the fauna. We investigated the effects of two common shrubs on arthropods, and found that different shrubs support different animal communities. These results suggest biodiversity in shrublands may be quite high, and very region-specific.

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blank image The Rangeland Journal
Volume 38 Number 3 2016
Climate Clever Beef: Practical Measures to Improve Business Performance and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Northern Australia

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Climate Clever Beef: options to improve business performance and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in northern Australia 
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Steven Bray , Dionne Walsh , David Phelps , Joe Rolfe , Kiri Broad , Giselle Whish and Michael Quirk
pp. 207-218

Options for the northern Australian beef industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and engage in the carbon economy without compromising beef production and profitability were examined. Management strategies to reduce methane from livestock, improve emissions intensity and sequester carbon in soil and vegetation were identified and evaluated using a participatory action research model to achieve producer practice change. Carbon farming opportunities were identified that could improve both business performance and emissions intensity, however there are significant trade-offs and risks which need to be considered.


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Down scaling to regional assessment of greenhouse gas emissions to enable consistency in accounting for emissions reduction projects and national inventory accounts for northern beef production in Australia 
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Sandra J. Eady , Guillaume Havard , Steven G. Bray , William Holmes and Javi Navarro
pp. 219-228

How well do we need to estimate greenhouse gas emissions from livestock in Australia? Our results show that estimating emissions at a regional scale, based on local production systems for the northern Australian beef herd, gives slightly lower emissions than undertaking the estimation at the state level. Furthermore, this approach enables emissions abatement achieved from on-property emissions reduction projects to be aligned with, and recognised in, Australia’s national greenhouse gas accounts.


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Is land condition a useful indicator of soil organic carbon stock in Australia’s northern grazing land? 
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S. G. Bray , D. E. Allen , B. P. Harms , D. J. Reid , G. W. Fraser , R. C. Dalal , D. Walsh , D. G. Phelps and R. Gunther
pp. 229-243

Potential relationships between land condition indicators and soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks were investigated in the grazing lands of northern Australia. The results indicated there was only a moderate relationship between some indicators and SOC stock, modulated by soil type. The magnitude and direction of the relationships varied at different spatial scales, soil depth increment and soil type, suggesting that caution is required when considering the implementation of SOC sequestration projects.


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The effect of soil and pasture attributes on rangeland infiltration rates in northern Australia 
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G. W. Fraser and G. S. Stone
pp. 245-259

Rangeland biophysical models are used to investigate the effect of livestock management on runoff and erosion. We investigated the effect of soil and pasture attributes on infiltration rates at 18 locations in Queensland, Australia and found that aboveground biomass, surface soil texture and, for certain soil types, surface soil carbon were important. Rangeland runoff models should be improved to account for these interactive effects of aboveground biomass and soil texture.


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Rangeland profitability in the northern Gulf region of Queensland: understanding beef business complexity and the subsequent impact on land resource management and environmental outcomes 
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Joe W. Rolfe , Alison E. Larard , Bernard H. English , Emma S. Hegarty , Tim B. McGrath , Niilo R. Gobius , Joanne De Faveri , Joanna R. Srhoj , Michael J. Digby and Richard J. Musgrove
pp. 261-272

This paper examines the complexity of 18 extensive beef businesses in the northern Gulf region of Queensland, Australia. Poor profitability, low equity and seasonal pressures drive decision making that impact on land management and environmental outcomes. In closing, the paper proposes that natural resource management programs must be delivered within a whole-of-business framework to positively influence stocking rate and grazing management practices.


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Use of business analysis in beef businesses to direct management practice change for climate adaptation outcomes 
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Kiri C. Broad , Roger J. Sneath and Timothy M. J. Emery
pp. 273-282

Business analysis was used with producers to improve financial literacy, provide an understanding of current business performance and initiate changes to current management practices. Practice change was aimed at improving business productivity and profitability and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from livestock, improving emissions intensity and sequestering carbon in the soil. Business analysis is useful as a means of generating practice change, leading to improvements in animal production, grazing land management and climate adaptation outcomes.


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The effect of earlier mating and improving fertility on greenhouse gas emissions intensity of beef production in northern Australian herds 
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B. R. Cullen , R. J. Eckard , M. Timms and D. G. Phelps
pp. 283-290

Grazing property case study data were used to investigate potential greenhouse gas emission intensity reductions and productivity gains for cattle breeding enterprises grazing native pastures in northern Australia. Strategies to increase the fertility of breeding herds and earlier joining of heifers as yearlings were studied on two properties which had different rainfall, country types, and property sizes, at Longreach and Boulia in western Queensland. The gains achieved suggest similar improvements can be made across the Mitchell Grass Downs bioregion.


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Optimising beef business performance in northern Australia: what can 30 years of commercial innovation teach us? 
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Dionne Walsh and Robyn Cowley
pp. 291-305

This paper presents a rare published analysis of changes in production, economic, greenhouse gas emissions and land condition performance for a commercial livestock business. The improvements that have been realised over the past 32 years are compared with alternative approaches to pastoral management. The paper concludes that cost-effective investment to concurrently increase herd size and livestock productivity per head, in conjunction with safe stocking rate management, is a proven path to economic and environmental sustainability in the north Australian beef industry.


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Bioeconomic modelling of woody regrowth carbon offset options in productive grazing systems 
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Rebecca Gowen and Steven G. Bray
pp. 307-317

A bioeconomic model was applied to a case study grazing property in Central Queensland to evaluate the costs and returns of establishing a woody regrowth carbon offsets enterprise as either an alternative to or complementary to an existing grazing business. The model found that woody regrowth carbon offsets could be profitable at prices close to current (2015) market levels (~$13 t–1 CO2-e). However, the breakeven price between cattle and carbon could vary significantly within and between properties based on the state of regrowth at the commencement of the project, the level of returns from the existing cattle enterprise and carbon market rules.


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Implications of retaining woody regrowth for carbon sequestration for an extensive grazing beef business: a bio-economic modelling case study 
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Giselle Whish , Lester Pahl and Steven Bray
pp. 319-330

Through the Australian government’s Emission Reduction Fund beef producers can receive income for storing carbon in woody regrowth. Bio-economic modelling determined there was a relatively low opportunity cost for a beef grazing enterprise in central Queensland of retaining woody regrowth for carbon storage. Although uncertainty remains around the price received for carbon, this study demonstrated a conservatively stocked breeding operation can achieve positive production, environmental and economic outcomes, including increases in the net carbon stock.


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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.

    RJ16010  Accepted 01 July 2016
    Effects of land-use change and management on soil C and N in the Brigalow Belt, Australia: II. Statistical models to unravel the climate-soil-management interaction
    Matthew Pringle, Diane Allen, Thomas Orton, Tom Bishop, Don Butler, Beverley Henry, Ram Dalal

    RJ16009  Accepted 01 July 2016
    Effects of land-use change and management on soil C and N in the Brigalow Belt, Australia: I. Overview and inventory.
    Diane Allen, Matthew Pringle, Don Butler, Beverley Henry, Tom Bishop, Steven Bray, Thomas Orton, Ram Dalal

    RJ16013  Accepted 27 June 2016
    Pasture production and composition response after killing Eucalypt trees with herbicides in central Queensland
    Trevor Hall, Paul Jones, Richard Silcock, Piet Filet


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 July 2015
Climate change and adaptive capacity in the Western Australian rangelands: a review of current institutional responses

Ellena Shaw and G. Bradd Witt

2. Published 24 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

3. Published 22 December 2015
Challenging the concept of Aboriginal mosaic fire practices in the Lake Eyre Basin

R. G. Kimber and M. H. Friedel

4. Published 24 July 2015
The effects of a moratorium on land-clearing in the Douglas-Daly region, Northern Territory, Australia

M. J. Lawes, R. Greiner, I. A. Leiper, R. Ninnis, D. Pearson and G. Boggs

5. Published 22 December 2015
New partnerships for managing large desert landscapes: experiences from the Martu Living Deserts Project

Tony Jupp, James Fitzsimons, Ben Carr and Peter See

6. Published 24 July 2015
The population dynamics of some arid zone plants during 46 years of grazing on Mileura Station, Western Australia

S. J. J. F. Davies, S. A. Kenny and T. F. M. Walsh

7. Published 30 October 2015
Improved grazing management practices in the catchments of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia: does climate variability influence their adoption by landholders?

Megan Star, John Rolfe, Peter Long, Giselle Whish and Peter Donaghy

8. Published 11 March 2016
Rangeland responses to pastoralists' grazing management on a Tibetan steppe grassland, Qinghai Province, China

Richard B. Harris, Leah H. Samberg, Emily T. Yeh, Andrew T. Smith, Wang Wenying, Wang Junbang, Gaerrang and the late Donald J. Bedunah

9. Published 24 July 2015
Preventing weed spread: a survey of lifestyle and commercial landholders about Nassella trichotoma in the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia

A. Ruttledge, R. D. B. Whalley, I. Reeve, D. A. Backhouse and B. M. Sindel

10. Published 11 March 2016
Cattle removal in arid Australia benefits kangaroos in high quality habitat but does not affect camels

Anke S. K. Frank, Glenda M. Wardle, Aaron C. Greenville and Chris R. Dickman

11. Published 30 October 2015
Agricultural transition and land-use change: considerations in the development of irrigated enterprises in the rangelands of northern Australia

Lisa McKellar, Rosalind H. Bark and Ian Watson

12. Published 22 December 2015
Innovation in the rangelands: the role of people

F. Chaney

13. Published 24 July 2015
Exploring appropriate livelihood alternatives for sustainable rangeland management

Hojatollah Khedri Gharibvand, Hossein Azadi and Frank Witlox

14. Published 30 October 2015
Flooding and geomorphology influence the persistence of the invasive annual herb Noogoora burr (Xanthium occidentale Bertol.) in the riparian zone of the dryland Darling River, Australia

Melissa Parsons and Mark Southwell

15. Published 22 December 2015
Cultural indicators, country and culture: the Arabana, change and water

Melissa Nursey-Bray and Arabana Aboriginal Corporation

16. Published 5 May 2016
Outcomes of the Australian Feral Camel Management Project and the future of feral camel management in Australia

Quentin Hart and Glenn Edwards

17. Published 22 December 2015
The role of a knowledge broker in improving knowledge and understanding of climate change in the Australian rangelands

Mary-Anne Healy, Kate Forrest and Gary Bastin

18. Published 24 July 2015
Effects of grazing by large herbivores on plant diversity and productivity of semi-arid alpine steppe on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

Hasbagan Ganjurjav, Min-jie Duan, Yun-fan Wan, Wei-na Zhang, Qing-zhu Gao, Yue Li, Wang-zha Jiangcun, Luo-bu Danjiu and Hong-bao Guo

19. Published 30 October 2015
Rethinking rancher decision-making: a grounded theory of ranching approaches to drought and succession management

Hailey Wilmer and María E. Fernández-Giménez

20. Published 24 July 2015
Interactions between wildlife, humans and cattle: activity patterns of a remnant population of impala on the degraded Mutara Rangelands, Rwanda

T. Wronski, J. D. Bariyanga, A. Apio and M. Plath

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