Rangeland Ecology & Management

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Grazing impacts on litter and roots: Perennial versus annual grasses
Mapfumo, E., M. A. Naeth, V. S. Baron, A. C. Dick, D. S. Chanasyk
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Mapfumo et al. evaluated grazing intensity (light, moderate, and heavy) effects on litter and root mass, C and N pools of perennial grasses, smooth bromegrass (Bromus inermis) and meadow bromegrass (Bromus riparius), and the annual grass, winter triticale (X Triticosecale). Litter mass and C pool for the perennial grasses were greater than those for triticale. Root mass was greater for the perennial grasses than for triticale at all grazing intensities. Increasing grazing intensities decreased litter mass and C and N concentrations of litter and roots. Estimated total C contribution to the resistant soil organic C pool was 1.5 times greater for light compared to heavy grazing. In conclusion, growing perennials would provide a greater litter base, greater litter C and root C pools than annuals.

organic carbon
total N
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