Rangeland Ecology & Management

Get reliable science

Effect of forty-four years of grazing on fescue grassland soils
Dormaar, J. F., W. D. Willms
Publication Year

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.

soil moisture
Ah (=A1) horizon
soil quality
stocking rates
  • Citations and enhanced abstracts for journals articles and documents focused on rangeland ecology and management. RSIS is a collaboration between Montana State University, University of Idaho, and University of Wyoming.