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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 2 2015

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The future of food production research in the rangelands: challenges and prospects for research investment, organisation and human resources 
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C. W. Roxburgh and J. E. Pratley
pp. 125-138

The future of research on food production in the rangelands globally is reviewed and the challenges and prospects for research investment, the organisation of research and human resources issues highlighted. The major concerns identified are the lack of funds for rangelands research at both applied and strategic levels, and the unavailability of a well educated and trained workforce, which may hamper the rangelands from contributing sufficiently to global food security and national conservation goals.


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Estimating the insurance rates for loss of annual production of grass herbage associated with natural disasters in China 
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Xing-peng Liu, Ji-quan Zhang, Wei-ying Cai and Yu-long Bao
pp. 139-146

Grasslands in many parts of China are vulnerable to natural disasters which can bring large economic losses to pastoralists. As an effective method to manage risk, insurance has gradually become an important means used in the management of grassland disasters. Based on remotely-sensed data, a three-stage approach is described which estimates the insurance rate to deal with the variability in annual production of grass herbage within large areas. This approach to estimating the insurance rate for loss of production of grass herbage associated with natural disasters has the potential to improve the ability of pastoralists to manage their grasslands more effectively.


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The effects of passage through the gut of goats and cattle, and the application of dung as a fertiliser on seedling establishment of Dichrostachys cinerea and Acacia nilotica 
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T. J. Tjelele, D. Ward and L. E. Dziba
pp. 147-156

Acacia species are considered invasive throughout many parts of the world, which reduce the grazing capacity of rangelands by limiting cover and production of grasses and forbs. Seedling recruitment of seeds of Dichrostachys cinerea and Acacia nilotica, dispersed by cattle and goats, was studied under natural conditions. Recruitment of seeds, retrieved from goats, was higher than seeds retrieved from cattle and untreated seeds. More seeds can potentially be recruited following seed ingestion by herbivores and, thereby, facilitate encroachment by woody plants.


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A novel protocol for assessment of aboveground biomass in rangeland environments 
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Charity Mundava, Antonius G. T. Schut, Petra Helmholz, Richard Stovold, Graham Donald and David W. Lamb
pp. 157-167

This paper presents a novel protocol to measure aboveground biomass in heterogeneous environments. The protocol provides accurate assessments of total aboveground biomass for sites dominated by Bunch grass and Spinifex vegetation (Leave-Site-Out Q2 values of 0.70–0.88), whereas assessment of green aboveground biomass was accurate for all vegetation types (Leave-Site-Out Q2 values of 0.62–0.84). The protocol described can be applied at a range of scales while considerably reducing sampling time.


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Communal institutions for the management of rangeland resources and dairy production in Taleghan Valley, Northern Iran 
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M. Ghorbani, A. A. Mehrabi, H. Azarnivand, S. Bastani, M. Jafari and K. Seeland
pp. 169-179

Mutual help among pastoralists plays a key role in herding in rural Iran where pastoralists share a rich knowledge of dairy production. A study was conducted on the local traditions of the dairy production chain because it is still largely based on reciprocal sharing of labour and milk and local traditions of social cohesion. An elaborate network of communal institutions, based on seasonal cooperation, was found to exist among pastoralists that regulate the use and management of milk and milk products. This study adds to the concept of traditional knowledge being a means of harmonising societal inequalities in rangelands.


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Effects of grazing systems on herbage mass and liveweight gain of Tibetan sheep in Eastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China 
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Y. Sun, J. P. Angerer and F. J. Hou
pp. 181-190

A 3-year grazing experiment of Tibetan sheep on the Eastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China shows no differences of liveweight gain per head or per ha between a continuous grazing system and a rotational grazing system or between the seasonal grazing treatments. Liveweight gain per head was higher at the lowest stocking rate whereas liveweight gain per ha showed the opposite tendency. Liveweight loss during the cold season was apparent regardless of grazing pressure.

   |        Open Access Article

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The perception by pastoralists of the factors influencing the appropriate distribution of livestock in the rangelands of north-east Iran 
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M. R. Shahraki, A. Abedi-Sarvestani, M.S. Seyedi, P. Rafiaani Khachak, A. Nieto-Garibay, S. Van Passel and H. Azadi
pp. 191-197

This study examines pastoralists’ perceptions of the factors that affect the distribution of livestock in the rangelands of the Neqab region of the Kashmar County in north-east Iran. Results showed that the perception of the majority of pastoralists was that the distribution of livestock was ‘average’ or ‘good’ in the study area. It was perceived that the experience of herders and the size of the rangeland were the main factors influencing the distribution of livestock and that managerial factors had a more important role than biological and physical factors in the distribution of livestock and the proper use of the rangelands in north-east Iran.


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Floristic composition and pasture condition of Aristida/Bothriochloa pastures in central Queensland. I. Pasture floristics 
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R. G. Silcock, T. J. Hall, P. G. Filet, A. M. Kelly, D. Osten, C. M. Schefe and P. T. Knights
pp. 199-215

Central Queensland native pastures classed as Aristida/Bothriochloa type are very diverse in their floristics whether described in terms of crown cover, frequency or plant density. Chrysopogon fallax was the most consistently recorded perennial grass. A great diversity of minor, small-statured perennial grasses, legumes and forbs provide species richness. There was limited ingress of exotic sown pasture plants. Suggestions are made for incorporating the improved knowledge of the floristics of this pasture type into grazing management schemes.


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Floristic composition and pasture condition of Aristida/Bothriochloa pastures in central Queensland. II. Soil and pasture condition interactions 
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R. G. Silcock, T. J. Hall, P. G. Filet, A. M. Kelly, D. Osten and T. W. G. Graham
pp. 217-226

A survey of central Queensland Aristida/Bothriochloa native pastures looked for correlations between species abundance, soil type and estimated pasture condition. Species with strong correlations to pasture condition were identified, such as the daisies, Themeda triandra and Tragus australianus. Soil type also correlated with abundance of some species but not others and had little influence on pasture structure. However, poorer condition sites were more commonly associated with certain soil types.


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Published online 20 April 2015
Seed availability, landscape suitability and the regeneration of perennial grasses in moderately degraded rangelands in semiarid Australia 
Judith M. Bean, Gavin J. Melville, Ronald B. Hacker and Stephen P. Clipperton

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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Published online 14 April 2015
Seed bank longevity and age to reproductive maturity of Calotropis procera (Aiton) W.T. Aiton in the dry tropics of northern Queensland 
Faiz F. Bebawi, Shane D. Campbell and Robert J. Mayer

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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Published online 07 April 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

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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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.

    RJ14088  Accepted 10 April 2015
    Effect of summer livestock grazing on plant species richness and composition in the Himalayan rangelands
    Suman Aryal, Geoff Cockfield, Tek Maraseni

    RJ14119  Accepted 01 April 2015
    The relationship between soil organic carbon and soil surface characteristics in the semi-arid rangelands of southern Australia.
    Cathy Waters, Gavin Melville, Susan Orgill, Yohannes Alemseged

    RJ14112  Accepted 30 March 2015
    A life cycle assessment approach to quantifying greenhouse gas emissions from land use change for beef production in eastern Australia
    Beverley Henry, Don Butler, Stephen Wiedemann

    RJ14023  Accepted 22 March 2015
    Biomass retention and carbon stocks in integrated vegetation bands: case study of mixed-age brigalow-eucalypt woodland, Southern Queensland, Australia
    Justin Ryan, Christine Fyfe, Clive McAlpine

    RJ14014  Accepted 22 March 2015
    Application of payment for ecosystem services in China’s rangeland conservation initiatives: a social-ecological system perspective
    Yanbo Li, Mingming Fan, Wenjun Li

    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 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 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

3. 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

4. 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

5. 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

6. 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

7. 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

8. 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

9. 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

10. 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

11. 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

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

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

13. 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

14. 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

15. 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

16. 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

17. 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

18. 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

19. 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

20. Published 26 June 2014
The sustainable development of grassland-livestock systems on the Tibetan plateau: problems, strategies and prospects

Z. H. Shang, M. J. Gibb, F. Leiber, M. Ismail, L. M. Ding, X. S. Guo and R. J. Long

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Volume 37 (2)

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