A grazing study was initiated in the foothills of southwestern Alberta on the rough fescue (Festuca capestris) grasslands in 1949 comparing various grazing intensities. In 1992, soil and root samples were taken in April, May, June, and October in paddocks with light grazing, heavy grazing, severe grazing, and no grazing. Differences in the heavy and very heavy grazing intensities over the light and none grazing intensities include reduction in the Ah horizon depth, increased bulk density, higher pH, and the C/N ratio decreased. Treatment effects on most soil parameters were most pronounced at the two heavier grazing pressures. Particularly, the heavy grazing pressure jeopardized the sustainability of the ecosystem by reducing fertility and water-holding capacity.
Effect of forty-four years of grazing on fescue grassland soils
Ah (=A1) horizon