Grazing behavior and distribution of cattle on mountain rangelands Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/j9602429x

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  • Several aspects of cattle grazing behavior and distribution were studied on mountain rangeland dominated by ponderosa pine- Douglas fir, mixed conifer, and white fir forest communities in northeastern Oregon. The association between upland distribution, determined by forage utilization and by direct cattle observation, and several habitat factors was studied through correlation and regression analysis. Cattle use of small riparian meadows was monitored by periodic utilization sampling and time-lapse photography. Individual cattle were marked to study the occurrence of home range behavior. Riparian meadows were the most heavily used plant communities averaging about 75% forage utilization over all sites and years. Utilization levels were similar under continuous grazing and the early and late grazing periods of a two pasture deferred-rotation system. Late grazing increased the frequency of cattle presence on the riparian meadows as compared to early grazing. Large quantities of forage, a dependable source of water, and gentle topography combined to make riparian meadows the major influence on cattle distribution. Afternoon temperature and relative humidity were similar in riparian meadow versus upland plant communities. Upland forage use averaged 8-12% and the highest estimated utilization on a single site was 36%. When available, clearcut forest sites were the most highly preferred upland plant community, especially when introduced pasture grasses were present. Late grazing decreased use on the clearcut sites by 1/3 because of the advanced maturity of the herbage. Cattle use appeared to shift to the riparian meadows in this situation. A large percentage of cattle were observed within the ponderosa pine-Douglas fir communities although these were not preferred range areas. The grassland, mixed conifer forest, and white fir forest communities were all lightly used by cattle. Slope gradient was the physical habitat factor most consistently associated with cattle distribution. SAlt distribution also appeared to be important. Water distribution did not limit cattle grazing behavior. Cattle restricted their activities to home ranges averaging 343 ha. Home range size was similar between purebred and crossbred cattle.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2013-07-31T21:15:48Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 GillenRobertL1983.pdf: 1374893 bytes, checksum: 67ccf3dfd4b66872faedefc5894f8a30 (MD5)
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2013-08-01T16:08:02Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 GillenRobertL1983.pdf: 1374893 bytes, checksum: 67ccf3dfd4b66872faedefc5894f8a30 (MD5)

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