Spring, summer and fall use by cattle and big game on foothill rangelands Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/12579w63v

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  • The objectives of this study were to evaluate environmental factors influencing use of several plant communities by cattle, elk and deer; determine under story production by plant species and the amount utilized by cattle, elk and deer in certain plant communities; evaluate the interactions of range use between cattle, elk and deer; and look closely at potential and use of seeded clearcut forest communities during the spring, summer and fall on the Hall Ranch of the Northeastern Oregon Experiment Station, in Union County. Understory production was classified into three significant groups: the bunchgrass, forest, and clearcut groups. Soil depth and tree canopy cover accounted for 96 percent of the variability in understory production. Forested communities had a high potential for producing forage after logging. The Grand fir - pachistima habitat type had the greatest potential for producing quality seeded forage. The vegetation group most heavily utilized during spring and summer by deer, elk, and cattle was the clearcut. The four logged stands provided 66 percent of the forage consumed by deer and elk, and 63 percent of the forage consumed by cattle. Seeded grasses on the clearcut accounted for 30 percent of the big game diet and 55 percent of the cattle diet. Grass species generally did not have high preference indices for big game or cattle. Shrubs and forbs tended to have a high preference ratings for big game during spring and early summer. Forbs were generally unavailable for cattle by mid-summer, Browse preference indices for cattle were low. Factors having the greatest effect on pounds and percent of forage removed by big game during spring and early summer were pounds of palatable species produced per acre, soil depth, canopy cover and distance to water. Factors highly correlated with utilization by cattle during summer were distance to salt and water, soil depth and canopy cover. Big game pellet groups did not correlate with forage use among plant communities. Logged communities provided 66 percent of the total forage consumed by big game while they accounted for only 20 percent of the big game pellet groups. Cattle and big game animals utilized the study area during different seasons of the year. Big game were primarily present on the pasture during the winter, spring and early summer, By mid-summer elk and the majority of deer had moved to higher elevations. Cattle were present during mid- and late summer. Utilization measurements during the spring, summer and fall indicated no direct forage competition occurred between cattle and big game. Combined utilization by big game and cattle on forage species did not exceed acceptable levels.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Katy Davis(kdscannerosu@gmail.com) on 2014-02-28T21:33:45Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 MillerRichardF1974.pdf: 1626497 bytes, checksum: 7af3c3f662c25b692f61906506224448 (MD5)
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