The link between rangeland health and grazing system was evaluated in communal, small-scale and large-scale commercial farming systems of Zimbabwe. The communal grazing system was the most detrimental management system based on five key indicators. There is need to overhaul the existing communal grazing system in favour of a more sustainable rest-and-rotation system that gives defoliated plants time to recover.
The Rangeland Journal
Volume 39 Number 3 2017
RJ16126Grazing pressure impacts on two Aristida/Bothriochloa native pasture communities of central Queensland
Poorly managed grazing pressure can degrade pastures and cause pastoralists economic hardship. We subjected poplar box and ironbark eucalypt woodlands in the Aristida/Bothriochloa native pasture community in Queensland to four different grazing pressures over 8 years with half the paddocks recently cleared. Increasing grazing pressure reduced pasture mass, pasture crown cover and ground cover, and reduced the proportion of important forages Themeda triandra and Dichanthium sericeum and undesirable Aristida species. Sustained high grazing pressure resulted in poor pasture production and composition.
Natural grasslands of Argentina are the most important source of forage for livestock and seem to be, at first sight, internally homogeneous communities. But these grasslands are actually true mosaics formed by patches of vegetation that get their expression from different factors (some of them from soil characteristics, and others from their hydrodynamics). In areas with relief as subtle as this area, topography per se does not explain the internal heterogeneity of these grasslands, but water is the great modeller of these landscapes.
RJ16053Assessing the performance of remotely sensed landscape function indices in semi-arid rangelands of Iran
Rangeland function determination at the sub-basin scale can facilitate and accelerate rangeland management. This study examined the potential of remotely-sensed landscape function indices in semi-arid rangelands in Iran. Our findings highlight that these indices could determine rangeland functionality in sub-basins with different levels of degradation, therefore, they can be used in combination with field methods in future decision-making about rangeland landscapes.
In Mongolia, snow disasters combined with drought in the previous summer, called dzud in Mongolian, are serious threats to the national livestock sector. To mitigate the damage of dzuds, we developed a system to calculate sheep weight from climate and remote sensing data, and applied it to a 2009–2010 dzud. We thereby confirmed that the modelled weight had statistically significant consistency with observed sheep mortality. The system shows strong potential for mitigation of dzud damage.
RJ16018Distribution pattern of poisonous plant species in arid grasslands: a case from Xinjiang, Northwestern China
Poisonous plants have caused increasing economic losses to livestock producers in Xinjiang, a large region in arid north-western China. Species distribution modelling was used to investigate spatial patterns of poisonous plants and assess their future expansion under projected climate change scenarios. Output from the model indicated that four poisonous plant hotspots currently exist in the region and these areas had the highest risk for expansion in the future. Policies that promote monitoring and prevention measures that would reduce future expansion are recommended.
RJ16069Relative contribution of climate change and human activities to vegetation degradation and restoration in North Xinjiang, China
The assessment of the relative roles of climate and human factors in vegetation degradation is important to understand the driving mechanisms of vegetation degradation. This paper showed that both the vegetation degradation and restoration were dominated by human activities compared with climate change. Human activities played a demonstrably positive role in vegetation restoration. This study may be useful for human management of mitigating vegetation degradation and benefit the ecological restoration programmes to contrapuntally implement ecological restoration projects in future.
The peer-reviewed and edited version of record published online before inclusion in an issue
Ecosystem disturbance will be inevitably exacerbated as human populations rise, thus restoration efforts must become more effective in sustaining healthy ecosystems worldwide. Ecological restoration is still a young field, but a greater variety of options is being considered than in the past as more intractable environmental problems are being addressed. An improved understanding of plant traits, function, and adaptation; secondary succession; soil ecology; and plant evolution and provenance is contributing to more effective restoration practices.
In a rapidly changing world, it is important to ensure that restoration science and practice delivers outcomes that are both achievable and effective. Flexible goals are required to fit with different motivations and levels of resourcing. This requires open discussion of the potential and limitations of restoration across a wide range of situations.
The past four decades have seen the gradual incorporation of conservation practices such as ecological restoration, revegetation and agroforestry in Australian farming systems as a response to land degradation. While actions have been impressive they remain fragmented, are confined to particular districts or properties and run the risk of not being built upon in the future. This paper traces the history of this movement, and draws out lessons and implications for future policy development and research.
RJ16070Patterns of herders’ adaptation to changes in social–ecological systems across northern China’s grasslands over the past three decades
Local strategies are key to adapting to the global environmental change in semiarid regions. This paper found the transformation of herders’ behavioural strategies resulted from variations in spatial and temporal patterns of climate change, pasture degradation, new policies and marketisation in pastoral areas in Inner Mongolia, China. Herders’ adaptation is the basic of the adaptive management in grassland regions under future challenges of global change.
RJ17025Seed ecology of Captain Cook tree [Cascabela thevetia (L.) Lippold] – germination and longevity
Cascabela thevetia (Captain Cook tree; yellow oleander) has become an invasive weed in northern Australia. Seven experiments related to seed germination and longevity of its yellow and peach biotypes were undertaken. Both biotypes germinated across a wide range of temperature regimes and under both natural light and shade conditions. With seeds appearing to remain viable for only 2 years in the field, this weed is manageable provided annual control activities are undertaken to help prevent replenishment of soil seed banks.
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.
Improving vegetation quality for the restoration of pollinators – the relevance of co-flowering species in space and time.
Soil hydrology and vegetation as impacted by goat grazing in Vertisols and Regosols in semi-arid shrublands of northern Mexico
Seasonal hogget grazing as a potential alternative grazing system for the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau: weight gain and animal behaviour under continuous or rotational grazing at high or low stocking rate
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The Rangeland Journal 39 (3)J. Gusha, M. Masocha, P. H. Mugabe
The Rangeland Journal 39 (2)Susanne C. Watkins, Darren S. Baldwin, Helen P. Waudby, Sarah E. M. A. Ning
The Rangeland Journal 39 (3)Kaoru Tachiiri, Hiroshi Komiyama, Yuki Morinaga, Masato Shinoda
Sensitivity of soil organic carbon to grazing management in the semi-arid rangelands of south-eastern AustraliaThe Rangeland Journal 39 (2)S. E. Orgill, C. M. Waters, G. Melville, I. Toole, Y. Alemseged, W. Smith
Grazing pressure impacts on two Aristida/Bothriochloa native pasture communities of central QueenslandThe Rangeland Journal 39 (3)Trevor J. Hall, Paul Jones, Richard G. Silcock, Piet G. Filet
Effects of shed modifications on ewe reproductive performance and lamb growth rate in Inner MongoliaThe Rangeland Journal 38 (5)X. Q. Zhang, D. Kemp, X. Y. Hou, C. M. Langford, K. Wang, W. H. Yan
The Rangeland Journal 39 (1)Scott A. Parsons, Alex Kutt, Eric P. Vanderduys, Justin J. Perry, Lin Schwarzkopf
Frequent fires reduce the nutritional quality of Sorghum stipoideum seed, a keystone food resource for the Gouldian finch (Erythrura gouldiae)The Rangeland Journal 39 (2)Anna Weier, Ian J. Radford, Alan Manson, Lesley J. Durrans, Michael J. Lawes
The Rangeland Journal 39 (2)Enock O. Menge, Sean M. Bellairs, Michael J. Lawes
The Rangeland Journal (Online Early)Faiz F. Bebawi, Shane D. Campbell, Robert J. Mayer
Pastureland transfer as a livelihood adaptation strategy for herdsmen: a case study of Xilingol, Inner MongoliaThe Rangeland Journal 39 (2)Meiyan Zhang, Lizhong Zhang, Yaoqi Zhang, Yecheng Xu, Jiquan Chen
Barking up the wrong tree? Are livestock or rabbits the greater threat to rangeland biodiversity in southern Australia?The Rangeland Journal 38 (6)G. Mutze
The Rangeland Journal (Online Early)T. A. Jones
Comparison of stocking methods for beef production in northern Australia: seasonal diet quality and compositionThe Rangeland Journal 38 (6)Trevor J. Hall, John G. McIvor, Paul Jones, David R. Smith, David G. Mayer
Distribution pattern of poisonous plant species in arid grasslands: a case from Xinjiang, Northwestern ChinaThe Rangeland Journal 39 (3)Hong-Xiang Zhang, Ming-Li Zhang, Yong Wang
Assessment of the potential of a range of microhabitats for use as seed production areas in moderately degraded rangelands in semiarid AustraliaThe Rangeland Journal 39 (1)Judith M. Bean, Gavin J. Melville, Ronald B. Hacker
Plant species selection by sheep in semi-natural dry grasslands extensively grazed in the south-western Italian AlpsThe Rangeland Journal 39 (2)Marco Pittarello, Alessandra Gorlier, Giampiero Lombardi, Michele Lonati
The Rangeland Journal 38 (6)S. Saïdi, G. Gintzburger, P. Bonnet, I. Daoud, V. Alary
Patterns of herders’ adaptation to changes in social–ecological systems across northern China’s grasslands over the past three decadesThe Rangeland Journal (Online Early)Xiliang Li, Yong Ding, Yanting Yin, Tingting Yang, Zhiying Liu, Weibo Ren, JiangLi Zhang, Sarula, Yuanheng Li, Xiangyang Hou
The Rangeland Journal 39 (3)Ilda Entraigas, Natalia Vercelli, Guadalupe Ares, Marcelo Varni, Sofía Zeme