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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


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Published online 18 November 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

The vulnerability to disasters and climate change of the herders in the grassland areas of Northern China were evaluated in this study. The results showed that the livelihoods of herders in the west of this area are more vulnerable than those in the east. The key reason is that the more vulnerable herders own fewer natural resources, including grassland areas and livestock.

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Published online 11 November 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

Based on the Pressure-State-Response model, a vulnerability assessment to climate change framework of counties in Inner Mongolia was built, which included three layers and 17 indicators. Climate change vulnerability of eight counties in the steppe area of Inner Mongolia was assessed from 1980 to 2009. The results showed that in the past 30 years, climate change vulnerability of eight counties has decreased trend with the decrease more pronounced after 2000. But, overall, the vulnerability of the Inner Mongolia steppe remains high. Most of the counties are moderately vulnerable; some counties are seriously vulnerable, even extremely vulnerable.

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Published online 11 November 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

The effects of precipitation fluctuations on dominant species, functional groups and plant community were measured in a long-term (29 years) fenced area in a typical steppe region in northern China. The amount of annual precipitation affected the annual biomass of the dominant species and consequently the aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP). A positive linear relationship was found between annual precipitation and the biomass of perennial grasses, perennial forbs and Stipa grandis. The ANPP increased linearly with increasing amount of annual precipitation.

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Published online 24 October 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

Herders’ perception did not agree with the actual climate changes in six rangeland regions of Inner Mongolia in northern China. The majority of herders perceived a decline in precipitation over the past 30 years, whereas actual data showed no significant change. Furthermore, herders’ perceptions of a decrease in rainfall appeared to be influenced by their perceptions of reductions in the productivity of their rangelands.

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Published online 30 September 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

The effects of continuous, rotational and absence of grazing were measured on several community attributes in 2010 and 2012 on a desert steppe in northern China. Soil respiration increased linearly with increasing aboveground net primary productivity, belowground net primary productivity, and soil carbon and nitrogen contents across the 2 years, whereas a negative correlation was detected between soil respiration and soil temperature. The community aboveground net primary productivity, belowground net primary productivity, litter mass, soil carbon and nitrogen contents and soil respiration rates were lower in a dry year (2010) than in a wet year (2012).

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Published online 14 August 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

Understanding the effects of climate change and grazing on the relative abundance of C4 plants in steppe grasslands is important. A 5-year experiment in the typical steppe region of Inner Mongolia showed that both increasing temperature and grazing intensity promoted the relative abundance of C4 plants, and grazing was the primary driver. This study provides a basis for assessing the effects of climate and land-use change on grassland ecosystem structure and function.

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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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blank image The Rangeland Journal
Volume 36 Number 5 2014

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Potential environmental effects of pack stock on meadow ecosystems of the Sierra Nevada, USA 
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Steven M. Ostoja , Matthew L. Brooks , Peggy E. Moore , Eric L. Berlow , Robert Blank , Jim Roche , Jen Chase and Sylvia Haultain
pp. 411-427

The use of pack stock animals in support of recreational and administrative activities in Sierra Nevada (USA) meadows is an issue for land management agencies and special interest groups due to concerns regarding potential environmental effects.  We evaluated the literature on pack stock effects in meadow ecosystems and determined that pack stock animals through grazing and trampling have the potential to affect: plant cover and composition, soil compaction and stream bank integrity.  Sierra Nevada meadow ecosystems are biodiversity hot spots and provide essential ecosystem services so a detailed evaluation of potential stressors is needed for effective stewardship planning.  


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Resting pastures to improve land condition in northern Australia: guidelines based on the literature and simulation modelling 
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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
pp. 429-443

Pasture deterioration has occurred in parts of northern Australia and reduces pasture and animal productivity. We reviewed the literature and undertook extensive simulation modelling to show that pasture resting offers a means of improving pasture condition with the degree of improvement depending on appropriate stocking rates and on the proportion of time that a pasture is rested. The practical aspects of implementing a successful pasture resting system require further investigation.


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Implementation of a rotational grazing system with large paddocks changes the distribution of grazing cattle in the south-western Italian Alps 
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Massimiliano Probo , Michele Lonati , Marco Pittarello , Derek W. Bailey , Matteo Garbarino , Alessandra Gorlier and Giampiero Lombardi
pp. 445-458

Management of domestic herbivores is an important tool to manipulate the vegetation of alpine grasslands. Throughout the last decades, increased selective and spatially heterogeneous grazing of free-roaming livestock has resulted in a widespread tree and shrub-encroachment of grasslands in the southwestern Alps. Based on this case study, Pastoral Plans and rotational grazing systems with large pastures appear to be efficacious and sustainable management tools to reverse this process, by reducing cattle selectivity and improving grazing distribution on rugged alpine environments.


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Effects of light conditions and plant density on growth and reproductive biology of Cascabela thevetia (L.) Lippold 
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Faiz F. Bebawi , Shane D. Campbell and Robert J. Mayer
pp. 459-467

Cascabela thevetia (L.) Lippold (Apocynaceae) is an invasive weed that has formed large infestations at several locations in northern Australia. A shade house study into its growth and reproduction under different light levels and plant densities found that young plants will reproduce quickest (within 353 days) and produce maximum seeds under full sunlight and low plant densities. Consequently, under field conditions, annual control activities by land managers should be sufficient to treat new plants before they produce seeds and replenish soil seed banks.


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How long does it take to pay back rangeland improvement investments? A case study from Erzurum Province in Turkey 
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Abdurrahman Kara , Sibel Kadıoğlu , S. Emre Dumlu , Erdal Aksakal , M. Merve Özgöz , Mustafa Uzun , Şerafettin Çakal and Uğur Şimşek
pp. 469-474

Rangelands are important wealth components, thus restoration of degraded sites is of great importance. Surely, it is not possible to limit their positive outcomes only to financial benefits, but it is necessary to show the economic contributions of these investments for continuous support. This paper estimates the payback period of investments in rangeland improvement in Eastern Anatolia, Turkey to facilitate decision-making on investment policies and to guide future research studies.


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The benefits of seed enrichment on sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) populations, after 17 years, in semi-arid Western Australia 
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Jonathan E. Brand , Benjamin Sawyer and David R. Evans
pp. 475-482

Natural populations of sandalwood (Santalum spicatum), famous for its valuable aromatic wood, were studied in central Western Australia over a 17 year period. This long-term study showed that sandalwood regeneration in this region is generally low and populations are in decline. In contrast, a sandalwood seed enrichment program conducted during the same time frame was successful, and similar seed enrichment methods are recommended to help sandalwood populations to regenerate.


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Climatic indices for determining risks to the distribution and maintenance of Quercus emoryi Torr. (Fagaceae) in Mexico 
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Maria de Jesus Torres-Meza , Alma Delia Baez-Gonzalez and Jose Luis Ramos-Gonzalez
pp. 483-492

The local-scale analysis of trends in climate variables, using climate indices, can be useful in estimating both the potential benefits and risks presented by climate to species populations. The study analysed temperature trends that may affect Emory oak in Mexico and identified the populations likely to be adversely affected by them. The information may be used for in situ and ex situ species conservation programs.


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Impacts of climate change on net primary productivity of grasslands in Inner Mongolia 
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Qiuyue Li , Debao Tuo , Lizhen Zhang , Xiaoyu Wei , Yurong Wei , Ning Yang , Yinlong Xu , Niels P. R. Anten and Xuebiao Pan
pp. 493-503

The prediction of net primary productivity (NPP) is important for adaptation to future climate change, food security and sustainable use of the grassland resources. The productivity of grassland in Inner Mongolia would significantly increase under climate change, however, the magnitude of the increase strongly responds to climate change differ between regions and interaction with social-economic based emission scenarios. This will provide opportunities and challenges for herders and policy makers in adapting to the change.


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Changing patterns of basic household consumption in the Inner Mongolian grasslands: a case study of policy-oriented adoptive changes in the use of grasslands 
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B. Du , L. Zhen , R. de Groot , C. E. Goulden , X. Long , X. Cao , R. Wu and C. Sun
pp. 505-517

The aim of this study was to describe the policy-oriented adoptive changes to basic household consumption patterns of food, fuel, and water, and their spatial distribution by grassland types, in part of Inner Mongolia, China over the past 20 years. Consumption of meat declined and that of vegetables and fruit increased. Fuel consumption patterns changed from being dominated by bio-fuels (dung) to being dominated mainly by electricity and gas. Water supply changed from private sources to public sources. There was considerable variation in the patterns between grassland types.


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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.

    RJ14117  Accepted 17 November 2014
    Enhancing the resilience of coupled human and natural systems of alpine rangelands on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau
    Shikui Dong

    RJ14054  Accepted 04 November 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, Xiangyang Hou

    RJ13115  Accepted 04 November 2014
    Different responses of plant species to deferment of sheep grazing in a desert steppe of Inner Mongolia, China
    Zhen Wang, Xiangyang Hou, Michael Schellenberg, Yan Qin, Xiangjun Yun, Zhijun Wei, Chao Jiang, Yunfeng Wang

    RJ14072  Accepted 11 October 2014
    A novel protocol for assessment of above ground biomass in rangeland environments
    Charity Mundava, Antonius Schut, Petra Helmholz, Richard Stovold, Graham Donald, David Lamb

    RJ14077  Accepted 06 October 2014
    Changes in vegetation composition and plant diversity with rangeland degradation in the alpine region of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau
    Lin Tang, Shikui Dong, Ruth Sherman, Shiliang Liu, Quanru Liu, Xuexia Wang, Xukun Su, Yong Zhang, Yuanyuan Li, Yu Wu, Haidi Zhao, Chen Zhao, Xiaoyu Wu

    RJ14073  Accepted 06 October 2014
    Communal institutions for the management of rangeland resources and dairy production in Taleghan Valley, Northern Iran
    Mehdi Ghorbani, Ali Akbar Mehrabi, Hossein Azarnivand, Susan Bastani, Mohammad Jafari, Klaus Seeland

    RJ14081  Accepted 01 October 2014
    A comparison of biodiversity-ecosystem function relationships in alpine grasslands across a degradation gradient on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau
    Xuexia Wang, Shikui Dong, Ruth Sherman, Quanru Liu, Yuanyuan Li, Yu Wu

    RJ14080  Accepted 01 October 2014
    Effects of grazing and climate warming on plant diversity, productivity and living state in the alpine rangelands and cultivated grasslands of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau
    Yong Zhang, Qingzhu Gao, Shikui Dong, Shiliang Liu, Xuexia Wang, Xukun Su, Yuanyuan Li, Lin Tang, Xiaoyu Wu, Haidi Zhao

    RJ14094  Accepted 23 September 2014
    A critical review of socioeconomic and natural factors in ecological degradation on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China
    Pu Wang, James Lassoie, Stephen Morreale, Shikui Dong

    RJ13040  Accepted 08 September 2014
    Herders' opinions about desirable stocking rates and overstocking in the rangelands of northern China
    Xiangyang Hou, Yanting Yin, David Michalk, Xiangjun Yun, Yong Ding, Xiliang Li, Jizhou Ren

    RJ14055  Accepted 29 August 2014
    Herdsmen’s attitudes towards rangeland fencing, protection of Przewalski's gazelle and control of wolf predation on livestock
    Jianbin Shi, Wenyuan You, Feiying Lu, Zihui Zhang, Xiaowen Li

    RJ14064  Accepted 26 August 2014
    Changes in rangeland cover associated with livestock grazing in Altun National Nature Reserve, northwest Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau
    Xukun Su, Shikui Dong, Shiliang Liu, Yu Wu, Haidi Zhao, Xiang Zhang, Jjin Weng, Lin Tang, Xiaoyu Wu, Peng Hou

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

    RJ14061  Accepted 07 August 2014
    Analysis of vegetation change associated with human disturbance using MODIS data on the rangelands of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau
    Haidi Zhao, Shiliang Liu, Shikui Dong, Xukun Su, Xuexia Wang, Xiaoyu Wu, Lei Wu, Xiang Zhang

    RJ14068  Accepted 29 July 2014
    Spatio-temporal variability in rangeland condition associated with climate change in the Altun Nature Reserve on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in the past 15 years
    Shiliang Liu, Haidi Zhao, Xukun Su, Li Deng, Shikui Dong, Xiang Zhang

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

Ronald B. Hacker and Yohannes Alemseged

4. 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

5. 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

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

Yohannes Alemseged and Ronald B. Hacker

7. 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

8. 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

9. 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

10. 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

11. Published 26 June 2014
Virtual herding for flexible livestock management – a review

Dean M. Anderson, Rick E. Estell, Jerry L. Holechek, Shanna Ivey and Geoffrey B. Smith

12. Published 3 April 2014
EcoFire: regional-scale prescribed burning increases the annual carrying capacity of livestock on pastoral properties by reducing pasture loss from wildfire

Anja Skroblin, Sarah Legge, Terry Webb and Leigh P. Hunt

13. 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

14. Published 13 January 2014
High levels of diversity for seed and forage production exist in Cullen australasicum, a potential new perennial forage legume for dry environments in southern Australia

Alan W. Humphries, Stephen J. Hughes, Ramakrishnan M. Nair, Eric Kobelt and Graeme Sandral

15. Published 26 June 2014
Proximate causes and possible adaptive functions of mast seeding and barren flower shows in spinifex grasses (Triodia spp.) in arid regions of Australia

Boyd R. Wright, Alain F. Zuur and Gary C. K. Chan

16. Published 3 April 2014
Characterisation of locoweeds and their effect on livestock production in the western rangelands of China: a review

Hao Lu, Dan Dan Cao, Feng Ma, Shan Shan Wang, Xiao Wen Yang, Wen Long Wang, Qi Wu Zhou and Bao Yu Zhao

17. Published 26 June 2014
Phosphorus content of the soil influences the growth and productivity of Themeda triandra Forssk. and Microlaena stipoides (Labill.) R.Br.

Cameron E. F. Clark, Meredith L. Mitchell, Mohammed R. Islam and Brent Jacobs

18. 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

19. 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

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

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

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Volume 36 (5)

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