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11 September 2013 Long-term grazing effects on rough fescue grassland soils in southern British Columbia
Maja Krzic, Sarah F. Lamagna, Reg F. Newman, Gary Bradfield, Brian M. Wallace
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Abstract

Krzic, M., Lamagna, S. F., Newman, R. F., Bradfield, G. and Wallace, B. M. 2014. Long-term grazing effects on rough fescue grassland soils in southern British Columbia. Can. J. Soil Sci. 94: 337-345. Rough fescue (Festuca campestris Rydb.) is a highly palatable forage species with little resistance to continuous grazing. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of long-term cattle grazing on soil properties, above-ground biomass, and canopy cover of key grass species on rough fescue grasslands in the southern interior British Columbia. Soil and vegetation properties were determined on a total of six open grassland sites located at the Lac du Bois and Hamilton Mountain. At all sites, grazing use has decreased over time, with the heaviest grazing occurring prior to 1960. The long-term (25-75 yr) elimination of grazing on these semi-arid grasslands has led to greater above-ground biomass and canopy cover of rough fescue, as well as increased soil polysaccharides; however, no differences in total soil C, N, and aggregate stability were found between pastures with and without grazing. Both soil bulk density and mechanical resistance were greater on grazed plots compared with those without grazing, with differences being more pronounced at the Hamilton Mountain location. The current grazing regime has not allowed for the elimination of negative effects of overgrazing on soil compaction on these rough fescue grasslands, especially at the location that continued to be grazed more heavily (i.e., Hamilton Mountain). Our findings suggest that soils in these grazing-sensitive grasslands need more than 75 yr to fully recover from the impacts of overgrazing.

Maja Krzic, Sarah F. Lamagna, Reg F. Newman, Gary Bradfield, and Brian M. Wallace "Long-term grazing effects on rough fescue grassland soils in southern British Columbia," Canadian Journal of Soil Science 94(3), 337-345, (11 September 2013). https://doi.org/10.1139/CJSS2013-019
Received: 19 March 2013; Accepted: 1 August 2013; Published: 11 September 2013
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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KEYWORDS
C total du sol
cattle grazing
compactage du sol
paissance des bovins
soil aggregate stability
Soil compaction
stabilité des agrégats du sol
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