Livestock, deer and logging interactions in the lodgepole pine/pumice region of central Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/xg94hs77b

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  • The objectives of this study were to: 1) determine production of plant species and utilization by cattle, sheep and deer as related to plant communities and timber management practices and 2) evaluate the interaction of range use between cattle and deer and between sheep and deer as affected by site and timber management practices. Meadow communities and logged and non-logged areas of the Pinus contorta/Purshia tridentata /Stipa occidentalis habitat type were studied during the summer grazing season of a dry (1973) and wet (1974) year in Klamath County, Oregon. Six meadow habitat types were proposed. Meadow production varied from 879 to 2602 pounds per acre in 1973 (dry year) and varied from 2389 to 3295 pounds per acre in 1974 (wet year). Grasslike species in the meadows accounted for the greatest response in production to yearly moisture fluctuations. Forbs experienced little change in production on meadows with good soil and water conditions, whereas, a 93 to 160 percent increase occurred on the more shallow, dry meadows. Deer grazing on the meadows maintained a diet dominated by forbs both years, whereas, cattle and sheep grazed predominantly on grass and grasslike species while on the meadows. Meadow species which constituted the greatest potential overlap in the diets of livestock and deer included: Potentilla gracilis, Microseris nutans, idalcea oregana, Ranunculus alismaefolius, Achillea millefolium and Penstemon procerus. Deer experienced a transition from a forb dominated diet to a shrub dominated diet during July. Purshia tridentata was the only species utilized by deer in both logged and non-logged areas with utilization being minimal during July. After August 1 utilization accelerated in the logged areas but remained static in the non-logged areas. Approximately 7 to 10 times more Purshia tridentata was consumed by deer from logged areas. Only fringes of non-logged areas were used by cattle. Stipa occidentalis and Sitanion hystrix growing in logged areas dominated the diet of cattle in July. By mid-August Purshia tridentata dominated their diet and comprised 75 percent by the end of the grazing season. Purshia tridentata was dominant in the diet of sheep on the logged and non-logged areas throughout the grazing season. Approximately 2.5 times more Purshia tridentata was consumed by sheep in the logged areas as compared to the non-logged areas. At the end of the grazing season dual utilization values on Purshia tridentata in logged areas were 25 and 50 percent for cattle-deer and sheep-deer, respectively and in non-logged areas were 15 and 30 percent, respectively. Total herbaceous production was 58-126 and 12-18 pounds per acre for the logged and non-logged areas, respectively. Purshia tridentata production was 287-397 and 223-297 pounds per acre for the logged and non-logged areas, respectively. Purshia tridentata plants growing in non-logged areas had 55 percent of their current year's growth in the unutilized spurs. Developed leaders (terminal and lateral) accounted for 71 percent of the production of Purshia tridentata in logged areas. Average leader lengths were approximately 2.5 cm longer on plants in logged areas. Approximately 42 percent of the Purshia tridentata plants were lost during the logging operations. Sixty-four percent of the > 40 cm height plants were lost from logging while 16 percent of the 20-40 cm height plants were destroyed. Densities of germinated rodent caches of Purshia tridentata were much lower in logged areas. Percent canopy cover and density of Purshia contorta were highly correlated with cache densities in logged areas. Additional managerial considerations relative to timber harvest were mentioned.
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