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  Rangeland ecology and 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


blank image The Rangeland Journal
Volume 38 Number 4 2016

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Dietary selection by goats and the implications for range management in the Chihuahuan Desert: a review 
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M. Mellado
pp. 331-341

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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Insights into feral goat movement in Australia using dynamic Brownian Bridges for movement analysis 
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Mark R. Lethbridge
pp. 343-359

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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Comparative daily energy expenditure and water turnover by Dorper and Merino sheep measured using doubly labelled water 
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Adam J. Munn , Yohannes Alemseged , Catharina Vendl , Mathew Stewart and Keith Leggett
pp. 361-366

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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The future of yak farming in Bhutan: policy measures government should adopt 
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Jigme Wangdi
pp. 367-371

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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Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacities and fatty acids profile of 18 alpine plants available as forage for yaks on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau 
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Guangxin Cui , A. Allan Degen , Xiaoxing Wei , Jianwei Zhou , Luming Ding , Zhanhuan Shang , Xiaohong Wei and Ruijun Long
pp. 373-380

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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The influence of shrub species and fine-scale plant density on arthropods in a semiarid shrubland 
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Alan B. C. Kwok and David J. Eldridge
pp. 381-389

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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A 150-year fire history of mulga (Acacia aneura F. Muell. ex Benth.) dominated vegetation in semiarid Queensland, Australia 
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J. L. Silcock , G. B. Witt and R. J. Fensham
pp. 391-415

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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Influence of selected environmental factors on seed germination and seedling survival of the arid zone invasive species tobacco bush (Nicotiana glauca R. Graham) 
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Singarayer K. Florentine , Sandra Weller , Patrick F. Graz , Martin Westbrooke , Arunthathy Florentine , Mansoor Javaid , Nimesha Fernando , Bhagirath S. Chauhan and Kim Dowling
pp. 417-425

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 09 August 2016
Effects of land-use change and management on soil carbon and nitrogen in the Brigalow Belt, Australia: II. Statistical models to unravel the climate-soil-management interaction 
M. J. Pringle, D. E. Allen, T. G. Orton, T. F. A. Bishop, D. W. Butler, B. K. Henry and R. C. Dalal

Graziers, scientists, and policy makers need to be aware of how soil carbon and nitrogen are affected by the cycle of tree-clearing, grazing, and natural regeneration of trees. We show here how the burning of native trees reduces stocks of soil carbon and nitrogen. Furthermore, our findings suggest that the coexistence of pasture with naturally regenerating trees cannot restore soil health to its pre-clearing level within 60 years.

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Published online 09 August 2016
Effects of land-use change and management on soil carbon and nitrogen in the Brigalow Belt, Australia: I. Overview and inventory 
D. E. Allen, M. J. Pringle, D. W. Butler, B. K. Henry, T. F. A. Bishop, S. G. Bray, T. G. Orton and R. C. Dalal

Soil and its interaction with land use in the Brigalow ecological community of Queensland, Australia, remains a major source of uncertainty for managing native-forest regrowth. Large-scale sampling of soil total organic carbon and total nitrogen revealed a general trend: Remnant > Regrowing native forest ~ pasture derived by forest clearing. However, the large variation observed suggests other specific factors are at play, which may be related to site-specific landscape conditions and management history.

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Published online 04 August 2016
Pasture production and composition response after killing Eucalypt trees with herbicides in central Queensland 
Trevor J. Hall, Paul Jones, Richard G. Silcock and Piet G. Filet

Woodlands are thickening across northern Australia reducing pasture and cattle production. We measured pasture responses after killing trees with herbicide in silver-leaved ironbark and poplar box eucalypt woodlands of central Queensland, in replicated grazing or burning experiments. The major effect of killing the trees was on increasing pasture yield, and increasing the composition of desirable perennial grass species and pasture crown cover, but the rate of pasture response varied markedly between woodland communities.

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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.

    RJ15127  Accepted 17 August 2016
    The effects of shed modifications on ewe reproductive performance and lamb growth rate in Inner Mongolia
    Xiaoqing Zhang, David Kemp, Xiangyang Hou, Coline Langford, Kai Wang, Weihong Yan

    RJ16004  Accepted 13 August 2016
    Arid awakening: New opportunities for Australian plant natural product research
    Bradley Simpson, Vincent Bulone, Susan Semple, Grant Booker, Ross McKinnon, Philip Weinstein


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 August 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

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

R. G. Kimber and M. H. Friedel

3. 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

4. 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

5. 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

6. 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

7. 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

8. Published 3 August 2016
Insights into feral goat movement in Australia using dynamic Brownian Bridges for movement analysis

Mark R. Lethbridge

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

F. Chaney

10. 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

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

Melissa Nursey-Bray and Arabana Aboriginal Corporation

12. 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

13. 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

14. Published 23 June 2016
Implications of retaining woody regrowth for carbon sequestration for an extensive grazing beef business: a bio-economic modelling case study

Giselle Whish, Lester Pahl and Steven Bray

15. Published 5 May 2016
Planning and conducting aerial culling operations for feral camels

Glenn Edwards, Donna Digby, Paul O'Leary, Dennis Rafferty, Mac Jensen, Andrew Woolnough, Nick Secomb, Mark Williams, Kym Schwartzkopff and Ross Bryan

16. Published 5 May 2016
Integrating animal welfare into wild herbivore management: lessons from the Australian Feral Camel Management Project

Jordan O. Hampton, Bidda Jones, Andrew L. Perry, Corissa J. Miller and Quentin Hart

17. Published 22 December 2015
Rangeland pastoralism in northern Australia: change and sustainability

P. R. Holmes

18. Published 23 June 2016
Is land condition a useful indicator of soil organic carbon stock in Australia’s northern grazing land?

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

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 23 June 2016
Climate Clever Beef: options to improve business performance and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in northern Australia

Steven Bray, Dionne Walsh, David Phelps, Joe Rolfe, Kiri Broad, Giselle Whish and Michael Quirk

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Volume 38 (4)

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