Changes in the herbage nutritive value and yield associated with threshold responses of vegetation to grazing in Mongolian rangelands

Sasaki, Takehiro, Okuro, Toshiya, Undarmaa, Jamsran and Takeuchi, Kazuhiko, (2012). Changes in the herbage nutritive value and yield associated with threshold responses of vegetation to grazing in Mongolian rangelands. Grass and Forage Science,

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  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author Sasaki, Takehiro
    Okuro, Toshiya
    Undarmaa, Jamsran
    Takeuchi, Kazuhiko
    Title Changes in the herbage nutritive value and yield associated with threshold responses of vegetation to grazing in Mongolian rangelands
    Appearing in Grass and Forage Science
    Publication Date 2012
    Abstract We examined the changes in the nutritive value and yield of herbage along a grazing gradient, where abrupt changes in community composition occurred, at multiple ecological sites in Mongolian rangelands. At grassland sites, changes in the herbage nutritive value could be attributed to rapid replacement of perennial grasses or forbs with weedy annual forbs along a grazing gradient. Crude protein (CP) concentration increased sharply in approaching the source of grazing gradient, whereas neutral detergent fibre and metabolizable energy (ME) concentrations decreased sharply. As ME can be utilized as a main index of herbage nutritive value, these results indicated its overall loss with severe grazing. Consequently, gradual increases in the yields of CP and ME in the direction of the gradient source at the grassland sites did not necessarily indicate the improvement of rangeland condition. In contrast, at shrubland sites, we could not generally detect any significant trends in the herbage nutritive value. The yield of ME gradually decreased in the direction of gradient source, suggesting that grazing affects herbage yield rather than herbage feed value at shrubland sites. Thus, the nutritive value and yield of herbage can be modified greatly in association with nonlinear responses of vegetation to livestock grazing.
    DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2494.2012.00862.x
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    Created: Mon, 14 Apr 2014, 17:13:47 JST