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Chapter 4 Inventorying and Monitoring Grazing National Range and Pasture Handbook. Land Resources,P MONITORING OR 4 81,1 PHOTOPOINTS OR 4 81. 2 GRAZING RECORDS OR 4 81, 3 RANGE AND PASTURE UTILIZATION ESTIMATE WORKSHEETS OR 4 82. OR 4 54 190 NRPH AMENDMENT OR 3 March 2010, Chapter 4 Inventorying and Monitoring Grazing National Range and Pasture Handbook. Land Resources, 600 0401a Oregon Protocols for Rangeland Similarity Index. Rangeland and Pasture Annual Productivity and Initial Stocking Rates. Hayland Inventory and Apparent Trend,Evaluation Rangeland Health Assessment.
Purpose Planning Notes, The kinds extents and magnitudes of resource concerns Inventory Pasture Hayland Exhibit 4 17. cannot be determined without an adequate scientifically. Plant Community Composition, defensible resource inventory and evaluation of site specific. data The analysis is required for the thoughtful development Annual Productivity and Initial Stocking Rates. of alternatives that treat the resource concerns developing. critical management specifications and understanding which Pasture and or Hayland Condition Score. aspects of the resource need to be monitored to determine Planning Notes. improvement in ecological condition and meeting objectives. This protocol outlines the processes and procedures for Analysis All Land Uses. collecting resource data for rangelands pastures and. haylands Forage Roughage Inventory by field Benchmark. and Planned, The following are usually performed in the order presented Herd Definition Benchmark. Some of the steps are required for either rangelands or Livestock Forage Balance Benchmark and. pasture hayland these steps are identified with the. appropriate land use otherwise most of the steps are needed Planned. for a complete inventory Exceptions are noted in each step. Planning Notes, Generally native plant communities with less than 25. canopy cover by trees are considered rangeland Dryland Required benchmark and planned analysis documents can be. non irrigated pastures that do not receive periodic cultural developed using the Grazing Lands Spatial Analysis Tool. practices are considered seeded range and should be GSAT computer program Many of the items listed above. evaluated using the Rangeland Inventory Worksheet can be found in the Client Reports portion of the program. Exhibits 4 12 4 13 Forage crops hayland or pasture. should be evaluated using the Pasture Hayland Inventory. Worksheet Exhibits 4 17 4 18 Record your findings on. b Interviewing the Client, the worksheets Use only the paper or electronic forms.
It is critical to get as much information as possible from the. approved for use, client in determining benchmark conditions Usually a great. deal of background information that the client knows will. Complete the inventory forms as completely as possible. help explain current conditions and will indicate, Clearly identify the appropriate ecological site description or. opportunities to improve the resources Experienced planners. forage suitability group if available, know that getting the required information is a matter of. asking the right questions and communicating respectfully. Detailed instructions for inventorying and evaluating grazing. with the client For grazinglands planning you must know. lands can be found in Chapter 4 Inventorying and, actual grazing use to determine benchmark grazing harvest. Monitoring Grazing Lands Resources of the NRPH, how the unit is operated where the physical structures are.
fences water developments etc in addition to objectives. Assistance for developing alternatives from inventory data. problems and opportunities to improve resources, and management information can be found in the NRPH. Chapter 5 Management of Grazing Lands section 1, The following questions have been compiled over the years. Managing Native Grazing Lands and section 2 Managing. by planners involved in grazinglands conservation and. Forage Crops and Pasture Lands The Entire NRPH is, provide a general indication of the types of information that. available online, usually only the client can provide Obviously many more. questions may need to be answered than those presented here. a Required Documentation Use the list as a guide it can help you avoid missing. important facts and save valuable time as well The answers. The following inventory procedures are required to determine to these questions should be documented in the planner s. benchmark conditions and to adequately address resource notes or on worksheet forms. concerns through the conservation planning process. Pasture Range, Inventory Rangeland Exhibit 4 12 Where is the water in each pasture.
Plant Community Composition,190 NRPH AMENDMENT OR 3 March 2010 OR 4 55. Chapter 4 Inventorying and Monitoring Grazing National Range and Pasture Handbook. Land Resources, Where are the salt mineral and or protein c Inventory Timing. supplements located, Where are the fence locations Are they correct on Try to conduct the inventory at a time when the greatest. numbers of plant species have grown enough to be easily. the map What problems have you had with, fencing Where identified With experience your knowledge of your work. area and of the plant communities the effective time for. What types of pasture do you have native inventory can stretch later into the season In some cases. introduced irrigated dryland pasture hayland the plant community will be fairly simple. Where are your key areas not overgrazed not and the major and minor components are well known In. undergrazed rangeland situations knowledge of the grass and forb. Where are your problem areas, communities is required to inventory later in the season.
When are each of the pastures grazed dates If you are developing a conservation plan during a period that. How many head are grazed makes field inventory unreasonable use the Trend Health. and Utilization method of forage inventory in the NRPH. How productive are the pastures AUMs acre Chapter 5 Management of Grazing Lands section 3. Pasture rotation Tillage Other crops Procedures and Worksheets for Planning Grazing. What kinds of wildlife use your rangeland When,Management part 600 0510 Forage Inventory Book. values for establishing stocking rates can be selected from. Where How many Exhibit 4 13 for rangelands Exhibit 4 18 for pastures or. Are supplements fed What type When is it fed Exhibit 4 19 for haylands with or without aftermath. How much per head per day Cost per unit grazing Use either the Oregon Rangeland or. Pasture Hayland Inventory Worksheets or the worksheet in. Hayland Exhibit 5 1 of the NRPH,Types of hay,Hay rotation Tillage Other crops. d Key Grazing Area, Type of roughages harvested Method Use the Key Grazing Area concept for determining the. When is roughage harvested How many cuttings location of the site write up The NRPH glossary defines a. Key Grazing Area as,Type of equipment,How many tons per acre per year. A relatively small portion of a pasture or management. How is the roughage put up Moisture content unit selected because of its location use or grazing. How much is sold Used on the ranch value as a monitoring point for grazing use It is. assumed that key areas if properly selected will reflect. What is the cost of production the current grazing management over the pasture or. Is the aftermath grazed When How many management unit as a whole. animals Productivity Remaining residue after, grazing Select an area that is nearest to the geographic center of the.
pasture hayland field or ecological site polygon as possible. Herd Information Avoid fences water developments loafing ruminating areas. How many herds are used salting or supplementing areas or minor inclusions of. differing soils or plant communities Try to characterize an. What kind s breed class age and weight are area that receives neither too little nor too much grazing. they pressure try to find an area that reflects the majority of the. What is the bull to cow and or ram to ewe ratio polygon or field. What are the body condition scores, Mark the location on your plan map with a number and or. What is the rebreeding percentage symbol that connects the site with the write up If the. Calf or lamb crop location is difficult to find write notes that describe how to. get there Take a GPS waypoint at the site and record on the. Birth dates Weights worksheet this point can be the beginning of a line intercept. Weaning dates Weights transect if one is needed,Fixed costs per head. Check soil maps and correlations to determine if the observed. site is actually what is correlated It is helpful to dig a small. hole with a tile spade to check soil depth texture horizons. rock fragments etc to confirm the soil type,e Photographs. OR 4 56 190 NRPH AMENDMENT OR 3 March 2010, Chapter 4 Inventorying and Monitoring Grazing National Range and Pasture Handbook. Land Resources, Photographs should be taken first before plants are disturbed line flattens growth rate decreases and dormancy begins.
from conducting the inventory Take at least three when growth stops for a month or longer. photographs digital photos are preferred but if using a 35mm. camera use ASA 200 color film and have the developer put. the photos on a CD Take a long range photo that shows the. plant community in relation to the landscape aim at or below. the horizon a short range photo that shows a local view aim. well below the horizon but not straight down and a photo of. the plant community just in front of your feet straight down. or steep angle, A good set of photographs at key grazing areas will provide. critical benchmark information about pasture and rangeland. condition and productivity They also show the characteristic. plant community inventoried at each write up and provide a. starting point for monitoring and follow up, If you are clipping for production take a shot of the clipping Figure 2 Sample Growth Curve. ring in place before clipping to show the plant community. contained in the plot Figure 1 More photographs may be Growth curves for planning are available from Ecological. taken if desired Record unusual and or unique qualities of Site Descriptions in the FOTG site growth curves folder in. the inventory site take pictures of water developments Section II of eFOTG or on the web. livestock wildlife unusual plants etc, Several curves estimated by experts in the field are. contained in Range Technical Notes 18 Growth Curves. for Western Oregon 19 Growth Curves for Eastern, Oregon Some of the same growth curves are used in the. Grazing Lands Spatial Analysis Tool GSAT computer, Growth curves may also be developed on site with the client.
or from input from other local sources When developing a. curve start with the overall growth of the plant community in. question Determine the month growth begins and the month. it ends Estimate the month with the most growth and the. months with low or no growth Build the curve for monthly. Figure 1 Photo of clipping plot growth first these should add up to 100 then. mathematically determine the cumulative curve This. f Growth Curves information can be entered in the inventory worksheets for. rangeland Exhibit 4 12 and pastureland Exhibit 4 17. Growth curves are a useful tool to help the planner and client. determine the availability and accumulation of forage 1 Using Growth Curves to. resources Careful allocation of forages for livestock and Determine Initial Stocking Rates. wildlife grazing is necessary to ensure sustainability and the This section deals with using growth curves for developing. maintenance or improvement of ecological condition for all seasonal or time specific stocking guides that reflect the. uses The curves are used to clarify range and pasture forage amounts of forage typically present when grazing is taking. conditions evaluate production allocate forage and place The information in the growth curve will allow you to. development of time period stocking rates determine the typical initial stocking rate for a specific time. period Many times an initial stocking rate will express an. Growth curves show both monthly growth and cumulative annual stocking rate or the stocking rate determined from an. growth Monthly growth is simply the percentage of annual allocation of 100 of the growth curve Figure 3. growth that occurs in that month Cumulative growth shows. the rate of growth usually a sigmoid curve that occurs on a Time period stocking rate calculations use the projected or. site The cumulative growth curve shows for any point in the actual use period for grazing to more accurately depict the. season how much of the total annual growth has occurred stocking rate for the period Using an annual stocking rate. for early spring grazing may seriously over estimate the safe. Figure 2 shows a typical growth curve The bars histogram amount of forage to allocate to grazing animals. display the estimated monthly growth read on the left y. axis Growth can easily be compared between months the Figures 3 4 5 and 6 depict a bottomland site growth curve. shape of the histogram shows the annual distribution of with different grazing management considerations. growth on the site The line shows the accumulation of Assuming an annual production of this site at 1600. annual growth read on the right y axis The steeper the lbs acre year and a Harvest Efficiency HE of 25 the. slope of the line the greater the rate of growth Where the stocking rate for any period of grazing can be calculated and. 190 NRPH AMENDMENT OR 3 March 2010 OR 4 57, Chapter 4 Inventorying and Monitoring Grazing National Range and Pasture Handbook. Land Resources, a prescribed grazing plan can be developed that is based on a. safe allocation of forage for grazing animals A safe. allocation is planned to leave enough plant material for other. functions and uses and encourages maintenance or increase in. ecological condition usually determined by the Harvest. Efficiency, The general formula for determining time period stocking. A x G x HE,913 lbs AUM, A Annual air dry production in lbs acre year Figure 4 Spring Use Example. G of growth curve used, HE Harvest Efficiency The time period stocking rate in Figure 4 would be.
The following examples show how the stocking rates can be. calculated for different management alternatives for 1600 lbs x 55 x 25. prescribed grazing on a single site Notice how the annual 913 lbs AUM. stocking rate differs from the time period stocking rates In. some instances using the annual stocking rate 100 of the. 0 24 AUMs acre, growth curve for planning grazing may have a deleterious. effect on the grazing resource when used for grazing a Figure 5 depicts a summer grazing scenario where livestock. portion usually an early portion of the growth curve are grazed May through August Even though the livestock. do not enter the site until May the growth accumulated March. and April are used to determine the stocking rate 90 of. growth curve used 25 HE,Figure 3 Annual Growth Example. The annual stocking rate in Figure 3 would be,Figure 5 Summer Use Example. 1600 lbs x 100 x 25 The time period stocking rate in Figure 5 would be. 913 lbs AUM,0 44 AUMs acre 1600 lbs x 90 x 25,913 lbs AUM. Figure 4 depicts an early spring grazing scheme where. livestock are grazed March through May only 55 of 0 39 AUMs acre. growth curve used 25 HE, Figure 6 depicts a dual use time period livestock will be.
grazed in the spring 25 of growth curve 25 HE and, later in the season 75 of growth curve 25 HE As in. Figure 5 livestock may not enter the site until later in the. season but the forage accumulated since the last grazing. period is used in the stocking rate calculations,OR 4 58 190 NRPH AMENDMENT OR 3 March 2010. Chapter 4 Inventorying and Monitoring Grazing National Range and Pasture Handbook. Land Resources, Proper use factors are similar but they represent the. percentage of forage that was consumed damaged trampled. dunged on etc on the site In general a proper use factor of. 50 on rangeland would equate to a harvest efficiency of. 25 that is 25 of the current forage supply gets into the. rumen of the animal and approximately 25 is trampled. damaged etc, Harvest efficiencies are influenced by slope aspect. roughness of soil surface density of forage plants and other. physical factors influencing grazing Harvest efficiency. increases as the number of animals in an area increases. however season long grazing or increased stocking rates can. eventually decrease forage intake,Figure 6 Dual Use Example.
Use harvest efficiencies for determining initial stocking rates. The time period stocking rate in Figure 6 would be Use care and judgment in assigning harvest efficiencies to. different sites land uses and forage types Table 1 shows. Early 25 some guidelines and ranges for harvest efficiencies. 1600 lbs x 25 x 25 Table 1 Harvest Efficiencies,913 lbs AUM Land Use Class HE. 0 11 AUMs acre Smooth 30 35,Seeded Range,Rough 25 30. Late 75 Moderate Use 20 25,Range Riparian Areas,1600 lbs x 75 x 25 Light Use 15 20. 913 lbs AUM Pastures Hay Smooth 35 40,Aftermath Smooth Dense 30 35. 0 33 AUMs acre Irr Non Irr Rough 25 30,g Harvest Efficiency General 10 25.
Crop Aftermath Wheat Stubble 10 15, Harvest efficiency is defined in the NRPH glossary as Irr Non Irr Barley Stubble 15 20. Specialty 40 45, The total percent of vegetation harvested by a machine Smooth 75 80. Roughage Harvest, or ingested by a grazing animal compared to the total. Irr Non Irr Rough 65 70, amount of vegetation grown in the area in a given year. Do not exceed 25 HE for native rangelands or 40 for. Harvest efficiencies are used to assign safe levels of forage. pastures and haylands Dryland crop stubble aftermath. allocation for determining stocking rates They are based on. harvest efficiencies are typically low but site specific. the physical ability of a grazing animal to consume. conditions may have higher harvest efficiencies i e when. vegetation on a particular site or of machinery to harvest. there is significant volunteer grain or preferred forbs growing. roughages The number represents a percentage of current. in the stubble Specialty crops refer to crops planted and. forage that will be ingested by the animal or will be. upturned for livestock grazing Harvest efficiencies can be. converted to stored feed, relatively high depending on the crop method of feeding and.
terrain Additional information can be found in Chapter 5. Allocation of forages using harvest efficiencies implies that. Management of Grazing Lands section 3 Procedures and. the allocation to livestock leaves enough plant cover and. Worksheets for Planning Grazing Management of the, weight for all of the other uses of the site Soil stability. mineral cycling water cycling and wildlife habitat are. considered and provided for in the assignment of harvest. efficiencies For example an irrigated pasture may have a h Determining Annual. harvest efficiency of 35 40 because this level of harvest is Production. feasible and the main use of the pasture is for livestock forage. production A rangeland upland or riparian site may have an Annual production estimates are critical for the safe. assigned harvest efficiency of 15 20 in order to leave the allocation of forage for livestock and wildlife use. plant community relatively intact for other needs and uses determining magnitude of resource problems determining if. usually a maximum of 25 on rangeland is recommended quality criteria are met and for designing prescribed grazing. facilitating and or accelerating practices Chapter 4. 190 NRPH AMENDMENT OR 3 March 2010 OR 4 59, Chapter 4 Inventorying and Monitoring Grazing National Range and Pasture Handbook. Land Resources, Inventorying and Monitoring Grazing Lands Resources page shows stocking rates at 15 harvest efficiency Table 1. part 600 0401 Inventory a Total Annual Production above shows various recommended harvest efficiencies for. b Definition of Production for Various Kinds of Plants different types of forages Small grain crop aftermath harvest. c Methods for Determining Production and efficiencies are generally low due to the low palatability of. Composition and d Methods for Determining the residue standing clipped stubble that interferes with. Production and Composition for Specific Situations grazing and generally low stocking density on most crop. contains information and methods for determining annual fields. production The annual Productivity is needed to determine. an Initial Stocking Rate The NRPH glossary defines Initial The crop aftermath stocking rates are based on amount of. Stocking Rate as residue associated with the level of crop yield Initial. stocking rates are developed by determining useable forage. A safe starting stocking rate assumed to ensure against Aftermath stocking rates are calculated for spring barley. excessive grazing utilization It is intended as a guide spring wheat and winter wheat Yields are multiplied by the. until experienced yields can be determined and realistic straw grain ratio to determine remaining residue Subtracting. stocking rates established for a given area 1500 lbs acre of residue for soil protection leaves the. amount of available forage, This section clarifies procedures for Oregon NRCS in. determining and documenting annual production Also see 1500 lbs ac Y x SGR x HE. the sections i Rangeland Inventory Worksheet and k 913 lbs AUM. Pasture Hayland Inventory Worksheets for additional. information on selecting and or determining initial stocking Y Crop Yield lbs ac for Barley or bushels ac for. rates Wheat,SGR Straw to Grain ratio, 1 Using Existing Data All Land HE Harvest Efficiency.
Determine the small grain crop harvest amount and use the. Sources of existing production data may be used when. tables or graphs to determine stocking rates For the graphs. collecting site specific field data is not practical or feasible. Figure 7 select the appropriate crop and harvest efficiency. i e a plan needs to be completed in wintertime or in a small. graphs Find the crop yield on the x axis and read up to the. amount of time Annual total production potentials are. red line then right to the second y axis to find the stocking. available from soil surveys ecological site descriptions. rate in AUMs acre year Use the blue line and read to the left. forage suitability groups or other local sources of. y axis to find total pounds per acre of aftermath forage. information,Winter Wheat Aftermath Yield Forage Stocking Rate. i Initial Stocking Rates for Rangelands,10 Harvest. Pasture Hay Aftermath 6000 Efficiency 1 20, Oregon Exhibits 4 13 4 18 4 19 and 4 22 contain 5000 1 00. information about annual production and initial stocking 4000 0 80. Lbs Forage, rates Exhibit 4 13 contains initial stocking rates based on. rangeland similarity index and normal productivity from the. Rangeland Productivity and Characteristic Plant, Communities table in most soil surveys Exhibit 4 18.
contains initial stocking rates and annual productivity based. 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90, on pasture condition score management level and potential Yield bu. AUMs Acre Year contained in the Yields per Acre for Crops. and Pasture table in most soil surveys Exhibit 4 19 Forage AUMs Linear Forage Linear AUMs. contains hayland yields tons acre year initial stocking rates Figure 7 Portion of Exhibit 4 22 Winter Wheat aftermath. for aftermath grazing and annual productivity based on stocking rates at 10 harvest efficiency. hayland condition score management level and potential. Tons Acre Year contained in the Yields per Acre for Crops Be aware that these figures are the least accurate compared to. and Pasture table in most soil surveys See sections i measured production Use your best professional judgment. Rangeland Inventory Worksheet and k Pasture in adjusting these figures for planning Use actual use. Hayland Inventory Worksheets for detailed information on records for a period of three years or more to determine if. development and use of the initial stocking rate exhibits initial stocking rates are adequately depicting long term. productivity and are leading to improvements in the. ii Initial Stocking Rates for Small Grain Crop grazinglands resource. Aftermaths, Exhibit 4 22 contains initial stocking rates and forage 2 Using Actual Use Records All. productivity for dryland small grain crop aftermaths These. figures can be used to determine stocking on small grain. For almost every plan the actual use records will provide. aftermaths after harvest of the crop The first page of the. valuable information about the long term stocking rate If the. exhibit shows aftermath stocking rates at 10 the second. pastures are in good or better condition or rangelands with. OR 4 60 190 NRPH AMENDMENT OR 3 March 2010, Chapter 4 Inventorying and Monitoring Grazing National Range and Pasture Handbook. Land Resources, more than 60 similarity index then the existing harvest rate Divide this figure by the number of acres in the management. AUMs acre year is probably adequate and balanced with unit to determine the past stocking rate in AUMs Acre. available forage resources If the converse is true then the Compare this stocking rate with current trend health and. stocking rate is probably too high Calculate the condition to determine if it is too high too low or adequate. AUMs acre year harvested on the entire planning unit first. then by management unit if records are adequate Animal Unit Months AUMs are an amount of forage. needed to support the grazing animal and meet nutritional. Procedures for using this method can be found in 600 0510 needs Based on air dry intake of forage standing crop or. a Forage Inventory based on trend health and utilization in roughage harvested forage crops the AUM represents 30. Chapter 5 Management of Grazing Lands section 3 lbs of forage per day for a month The general figure used. Procedures and Worksheets for Planning Grazing for 1 AUM is 913 lbs The planner is able to adjust the. Management of the NRPH Exhibits 5 1 or 5 2 can be demand of the animals grazed based on their body weight A. used for documenting the forage inventory 1000 lb cow and calf have an AUE of 1 0 and require 913. air dry lbs of forage roughage per month Larger animals. Reviewing your client s grazing records can be helpful in require more and smaller animals require less. determining stocking rates see p 2 Grazing Records. Grazing records need to contain information on numbers and 3 Forage Value Rating All Land. kinds of livestock grazed and dates in and out of each. management unit For each management unit determine the. A determination of the annual weight of plants suited to the. Animal Unit Equivalent AUE for the livestock grazed use. target grazing animal is needed to more accurately calculate. the following formula, stocking rates Including weights of plants in the community.
that will not be consumed by the target grazing animal will. W 0 75 over estimate the amount of forage available for grazing and. can result in degradation of the resource Forage value. 1000 0 75 ratings can be made for livestock and or wildlife use on a. W weight in Lbs of the grazing animal particular site See m Wildlife for more information on. determining forage value ratings and multi species stocking. This equation is shown in graphic format in Figure 8. A quick and efficient method can be used with either the. rangeland or the pasture hayland inventory worksheets. Animal Unit Equivalents Exhibits 4 12 4 17 Determine the preference of the. 1 40 target grazing animal for each of the plant species in the plant. 1 30 community composition portion of the worksheet Use. Range Technical Note 16 Relative Forage Preference of. Plants for Grazing Use by Season to determine preferences. 0 90 use 1 Preferred and or 2 Desirable only, 0 70 Make a mark by the name of each plant species that is. preferred or desirable to the appropriate animal Sum the. percent composition of each species marked and multiply the. result by total annual forage The result can be used to create. 0 20 a preference based stocking rate Additional information can. 0 10 be found in Chapter 5 Management of Grazing Lands. 0 00 section 3 Procedures and Worksheets for Planning. Grazing Management of the NRPH,Weight Lbs, Figure 8 Animal Unit Equivalents by animal weights use. only for grazing animals,i Rangeland Inventory, Calculate the days grazed in the management unit from the. date in and date out The Animal Unit Months AUMs used The rangeland inventory worksheet Exhibit 4 12 and. can be calculated by Figures 10 11 12 will be used for determining. benchmark conditions on rangelands and seeded range The. Oregon form has incorporated Exhibit 4 7 Determining. N x D x AUE Similarity Index Worksheet Exhibit 4 6 Trend. 30 4 Determinations Worksheet and Exhibit 4 8 Rangeland. Health Ecological Attributes Worksheet,N Number of Animals. D Days Grazed 30 4 is the average number of, The worksheet also leads you through the process of.
days in a month, evaluating plant community composition and the Total. AUE Animal Unit Equivalent, Useable Production that will be used for determining initial. stocking rates Enter the general information at the top of the. form fill out as much information as possible Use a GPS. 190 NRPH AMENDMENT OR 3 March 2010 OR 4 61, Chapter 4 Inventorying and Monitoring Grazing National Range and Pasture Handbook. Land Resources,PLANT LIST SIMILARITY INDEX, unit to determine the location of the write up use either. UTM or latitude longitude Species Name,Un Growth of.
grazed Done Normal, Basin Wildrye 5000 50 100 75 100 67 3333 3 4150 3333 3. Bluebunch Wheatgrass 250 50 80 75 100 83 208 3 100 100 0. 1 Plant Community Composition Bluegrass,Other Perennial Grasses. 300 50 75 75 100 89,Rangeland Similarity Index,Cheatgrass 400 75 100 100 100 75 300 0 0 0. The NRPH glossary defines Similarity Index as 0,Perennial Forbs 0 0 0 50 0 0. Prickly Lettuce 100 65 100 80 100 81 81 3 0 0, A similarity index is the percentage of a specific 0 0 0 0 0.
vegetation state plant community that is presently on 0 0 0 0 0. the site 0 0 0 0 0, A comparison of the benchmark vegetation to the Reference Willow. Basin Big Sagebrush 100 50 100 60 100, Plant Community RPC is required The RPC is the main Rabbitbrush. Other Shrubs,50 50 100 60 100 83, plant community described in each ecological site 0. description Some ESDs have additional plant communities 0 0 0 0 0. Cottonwood 0 0 0 50 0 0, described that have crossed some sort of threshold It is 0 0 0 0 0. generally not necessary to determine similarity index to any 0 0 0 0 0. of these disturbance states The similarity index can be used 0 0 0 0 0. to discern where the inventoried site is within the state and 0 0 0 0 0. transition model 0 0 0 0 0,TOTALS 6200 4314 6 5000 3625 0.
Similarity Index 73,Figure 10 Portion of Exhibit 4 12 Plant Community. Composition Similarity Index and Cover Estimates, Begin the inventory at the Key Grazing Area by walking in. slowly expanding circles and documenting the species found. on the site cover enough ground so that you are satisfied all. of the species are listed on your worksheet Figure 10 enter. common or scientific name Estimate see NRPH Chapter 4. section 600 0401 c 1 or clip the current green weight for. each species and enter as pounds per acre in the second. column The total green weight for the site use data from. clipping or estimated total green weight in the current. condition this figure is current pounds per acre and not. annual green weight is entered at the bottom of the second. column Enter the remaining information in the rest of the. columns considering the following,Percent Dry Weight Estimate current percent air. dry weights of each species in the format 0 00 use. Exhibit 4 2 in the NRPH Chapter 4 Inventorying and. Monitoring Grazing Lands Resources Exhibits An, alternative method is to clip and weight units of different. plants place in a paper bag and air dry for at least 48 hours. Re weigh the weight units and determine the percentage air. dry weight this would be a good thing to do for the major. Figure 9 Example State Transition Model for Cool range plants in your area to give you a feel for percent air dry. Season Bunchgrass Rangelands weights in relation to phenological stage Table 2 contains. some general values for major plant types in Oregon. Figure 9 shows an example of a state and transition model. for cool season bunchgrasses in Oregon The inventory Table 2 Percentage of Air Dry Matter at Various Stages. should determine if the benchmark vegetative state is part of of Growth. the natural variability of the RPC or if it has crossed a. Headed Out,Leaves Dry, threshold biotic and or abiotic that would have a significant.
impact on options and opportunities for managing or Plant Type. restoring the site,Cool Season,35 45 60 85 95,Bunch grasses. OR 4 62 190 NRPH AMENDMENT OR 3 March 2010, Chapter 4 Inventorying and Monitoring Grazing National Range and Pasture Handbook. Land Resources,Warm Season, 30 45 60 85 95 Pounds Allowed Enter the smaller of the. Reconstructed Weight or Reference Pounds for each,Leaves Dry. to Seeding,Plant Type, Calculate Similarity Index by entering the total normal.
annual production from the ecological site description at the. Forbs Succulent 15 35 60 90 100 bottom of the Reference Pounds column Enter the sum of. Forbs Leafy 20 40 60 90 100 Pounds Allowed at the bottom of that column Divide the. total Pounds Allowed by the total Reference Pounds times. Forbs Fibrous mat 30 50 75 90 100 100 The result is the Similarity Index and indicates how. similar the plant community is to the reference plant. community When compared to the RPC this number can be. Plant Type considered a percentage of ecological condition or an. indicator of seral condition, Shrubs Evergreen 55 65 35 85 Calculate the percent of the plant community that is useable. Shrubs Deciduous 35 50 30 85 for the target grazing animal by reviewing the species list and. Trees Evergreen summing the reconstructed weight of each species that is. 45 55 35 85, preferred or desired by the target grazing animal dividing by. Trees Deciduous 40 50 35 85 the total reconstructed weight and entering in Used. column on the first page see h 3 Forage Value Rating. Percent Current Growth Ungrazed You can Calculate useable production for each month by multiplying. avoid estimating this by selecting a site for inventory that has the monthly Lbs Acre by Used and enter the result in. not been grazed If it has estimate the percent of forage Useable column Add current and previous months useable. ungrazed for each species and enter in this column in the amounts and enter this in the Use Cumulative column. format 0 00, Percent Growth Done For each species enter the 2 Estimating Annual Production. amount of annual growth currently completed in the format by Clipping. 0 00 Whenever possible this method is preferred for the most. Percent of Normal Production Enter a 1 0 if accurate determination of initial stocking rates it also. current conditions approximate long term normal or average provides a valuable record of benchmark conditions for. growing conditions at the time of inventory If conditions current and future planning General guidance methods and. have created changes in the amount of production in the procedures can be found in Chapter 4 Inventorying and. current plant community enter the percent change in the Monitoring Grazing Lands Resources part 600 0401. format 0 00 If production is lower enter a number from Inventory c Methods for Determining Production and. 0 70 to 0 99 For higher production enter numbers from 1 01 Composition and d Methods for Determining. to 1 30 generally err on the conservative side unless you Production and Composition for Specific Situations of the. have local data that would back up lower numbers Use NRPH. local information interview with landowners and climate. data to evaluate this Note that the percent reduction or For general inventory use clipping at least one plot and. increase may be different for each species but generally comparing current total green weights estimated and. applies to the entire plant list clipped using the rangeland inventory form Exhibit 4 12. Calculate Reconstruction Factor see NRPH and the procedure described above will suffice The. section 600 0402 b 4 and multiply the result by Green following steps outline the recommended procedure for. Weight for each species Enter this figure in the collecting clipping data. Reconstructed Weight column for each species,i Select the location of the plot. NOTE Reconstructed weights may be used on any land use. Pick a location within the write up area that most closely. to determine annual productivity via reconstruction This. represents the common density composition and structure. may be very helpful when needed to determine productivity. characterizing the site Look for a spot that will allow you to. on pasture wetlands forest understory and other uses. clip the highest number of species present on the site and that. Reconstructed Weight is summed to determine annual. represents the average total current production,production in pounds acre year.
Reference Pounds Enter the pounds of each ii Select the plot size. species from the reference state in the ecological site Clipping plots are designed to allow weighing the plant. description usually the Reference Plant Community If a material with a gram scale then multiply the weight by a. species in your plant list is not in the reference plant conversion factor to determine pounds per acre The size and. community enter a zero When using an older Range Site conversion factors of some common clipping hoops are in. Description multiply the Normal Pounds per acre production Table 3 The circumference is provided if you want to make. for the site by the percent composition for the species if this a particular clipping hoop size Use vinyl coated inch. is a range use the midpoint,190 NRPH AMENDMENT OR 3 March 2010 OR 4 63. Chapter 4 Inventorying and Monitoring Grazing National Range and Pasture Handbook. Land Resources, cable and connect with a crimped aluminum or copper dual method for measuring cover of a particular category or. ferrule species,Table 3 Conversion Factors 4 Growth Curve. Plot Size Hoop Circumference Conversion Enter the estimated growth curve of the site in the Growth. Sq Ft add 1 for ferrule Factor Curve portion at the top of page 1 of the worksheet Figure. 9 6 11 feet 10 11 Percent growth by month will add up to 100 percent. cumulative growth is calculated by adding the current. 4 8 7 feet 9 inches 20 month s monthly growth to the previous month s percent. 2 4 5 feet 6 inches 40 cumulative use These can be used to determine percent of. growth completed for time period stocking rates See f 1. 1 96 5 feet 50,Using Growth Curves to Determine Initial Stocking. 0 96 3 feet 6 inches 100 Rates, Generally for rangeland use a 9 6 square foot clipping plot The growth curves may be entered from field determinations.
and a grams plot to pounds acre conversion factor of 10 For client information ecological site descriptions or forage. pasture and hayland or rangelands that have high production suitability groups etc When determining growth curves in. and or high plant density use a 2 4 square foot clipping plot the field determine which month has the largest amount of. and a grams plot to pounds acre conversion factor of 40 growth which ones have no growth and which are in. between Generally use no less than five percent increments. iii Clip the plot for monthly growth unless better information is available. Place the clipping hoop on the ground making sure that plant. GROWTH CURVE STOCKING RATES, stems along the edge are not folded under the hoop Do not Month Growth Cum Lbs Acre Used Useable Use Cum H E AUMs Ac AUM Cum. clip shoots and stems that originate outside of the plot Jan. Remove as much litter as possible making sure that current Mar 5 5 215 7 100 215 7 215 7 25 0 06 0 06. Apr 15 20 647 2 100 647 2 862 9 25 0 18 0 24, annual growth that has cured is not removed May 35 55 1510 1 100 1510 1 2373 0 25 0 41 0 65. Jun 25 80 1078 6 100 1078 6 3451 7 25 0 30 0 95,Jul 15 95 647 2 100 647 2 4098 9 25 0 18 1 12. Clip the plants as close to the ground as possible being Aug 95 0 0 100 0 0 4098 9 25 0 00 1 12. Sep 5 100 215 7 100 215 7 4314 6 25 0 06 1 18, careful not to collect plant crowns Place the clippings in a Oct 100 0 0 100 0 0 4314 6 25 0 00 1 18. lightweight paper or plastic bag of a known weight or use a Nov. scale with a tare weight adjustment feature Do not place. COVER ESTIMATES, last year s cured growth into the bag For shrubs clip only Type Grass Gl Forbs Shrubs Trees Litter Crusts Rocks Bare G Total.
the current year s leaders and leaves Basal 90 1 2 5 2 100. Canopy 90 5 10 N A N A N A N A 105, Figure 11 Portion of Exhibit 4 12 Growth Curve and. iv Weigh and record Stocking Rates, When the plot is clipped weigh the bag with a gram scale a. 0 to 300 gram scale with 2 gram increments works well for. most conditions Record the grams weighed in the Notes. 5 Calculating Initial Stocking, section of the plant inventory page of the inventory Rates. worksheet The Stocking Rates portion of page 1 of the rangeland. inventory worksheet Figure 11 provides room for, v Adjust clipping results calculating available forage based on inventoried plant. In the Notes portion of the plant inventory page of the production and typical growing conditions Growing. inventory worksheet enter the appropriate conversion factor conditions vary considerably from year to year Additionally. and multiply the clipped green weight by that factor to the grazing animals used type age size experience etc and. determine pounds per acre the manager s experience will influence the animal forage. preferences and harvest efficiency Therefore these available. forage calculations are to be used as an initial guide to. 3 Cover Estimates stocking rates, If needed a benchmark of the amount of basal and canopy An alternative method is to use current similarity index.
cover can be entered in the Cover Estimates portion of page 1. estimations Exhibit 4 13 contains stocking rates for. of the worksheet Figure 11 Cover information will be. rangeland based on Rangeland Similarity Index groupings 0. important if the amount of bare ground or canopy cover of. 25 26 50 51 75 76 100 Figure 12 shows a, particular species or category is in question or the opportunity. portion of the exhibit Find the appropriate Normal annual. for treatment will affect cover productivity for the correlated rangeland ecological site from. soil survey or ecological site description Read the annual. Use Exhibit 4 11 or another method to determine percent. initial stocking rate AUMs acre year under the column that. basal and canopy cover of the following categories present on. matches the estimated similarity index group for the site. the site Grass Grasslikes Forbs Shrubs Trees and basal. cover of Litter Biotic Crusts Bare Ground See J Cover. The stocking rates are calculated by assuming a linear. Measurements for more information and an alternative. relationship between similarity index and available forage. generally true in cool season bunchgrass rangelands in. OR 4 64 190 NRPH AMENDMENT OR 3 March 2010, Chapter 4 Inventorying and Monitoring Grazing National Range and Pasture Handbook. Land Resources, Oregon The 0 25 class assumes 12 5 useable forage applicable with the greatest number of circled factors If. the 26 50 class assumes 37 5 the 51 75 class assumes there is a tie between two columns circle both determinations. 62 5 and the 76 100 class assumes 87 5 useable and take notes to capture impressions thoughts etc. 7 Rangeland Health Assessment, Stocking Rate AUMs Acre Year by The NRPH glossary defines Rangeland Health as. Rangeland Similarity Index, 0 25 26 50 51 75 76 100 The degree to which the integrity of the soil vegetation.
water and air as well as the ecological processes of the. 750 0 03 0 08 0 13 0 18,rangeland ecosystem is balanced and sustained. 775 0 03 0 08 0 13 0 19 Integrity is defined as maintenance of the structure and. functional attributes characteristic of a particular. 800 0 03 0 08 0 14 0 19 locale including normal variability. 825 0 03 0 08 0 14 0 20, The Rangeland Health Assessment section of the range. 850 0 03 0 09 0 15 0 20 inventory worksheet Figure 13 is based on the Rangeland. 875 0 03 0 09 0 15 0 21 Health Evaluation Summary Worksheet in Interpreting. Indicators of Rangeland Health Version 4 available. 900 0 03 0 09 0 15 0 22 online This publication is an appendix to the NRPH and. Figure 12 Portion of Exhibit 4 13 Rangeland Stocking contains information and instructions for completing a. Rates rangeland health assessment Additional instructions and. procedures can be found in Chapter 4 Inventorying and. This method will not replace any of the more accurate Monitoring Grazing Lands Resources part 600 0402 c. methods of determining initial stocking rate They are Rangeland Health in the NRPH. designed to be conservative and always should be checked. with actual use records and or monitoring information i Rangeland Health Indicators. The following indicator descriptions are from the interagency. 6 Apparent Trend Determinations manual Interpreting Indicators of Rangeland Health. Use the Trend Determination section of the worksheet to. determine Apparent Trend The NRPH glossary defines 1 Rills. Rills small erosional rivulets are generally linear and do. Apparent Trend as, not necessarily follow the microtopography that flow patterns do. They are formed through complex interactions between raindrops. An interpretation of trend based on a single overland flow and the characteristics of the soil surface Bryan. observation Apparent trend is described in the same 1987 The potential for rills increases as the degree of disturbance. terms as measured trend except that when no trend is loss of cover and slope increases Some soils have a greater. potential for rill formation than others Bryan 1987 Quansah. apparent it shall be described as not apparent, 1985 Therefore it is important to establish the degree of natural. versus accelerated rill formation by interpretations made from the. The Trend Determination section of the rangeland inventory soil survey rangeland ecological site description and the. worksheet is essentially the same as Exhibit 4 6 in the ecological reference area Generally concentrated flow erosional. processes are accelerated when the distance between rills decreases. NRPH Instructions for completing this form are in Chapter and the depth and width of rills increase Morgan 1986 Bryan. 4 Inventorying and Monitoring Grazing Lands Resources 1987. part 600 0402 a Trend of the NRPH Exhibit 4 6 may be. used for follow up visits to record trend after a system of 2 Water Flow Patterns. practices has been installed or to determine planned trend Flow patterns are the path that water takes i e. over a longer period as part of a monitoring system The accumulates as it moves across the soil surface during overland. NRPH glossary defines Planned Trend as flow Overland flow will occur during rainstorms or snowmelt. when a surface crust impedes water infiltration or the infiltration. capacity is exceeded These patterns are generally evidenced by. The change in plant composition within an ecological litter soil or gravel redistribution or pedestalling of vegetation or. site from one plant community type to another relative stones that break the flow of water Morgan 1986 Interrill. to management objectives and to protecting the soil erosion caused by overland flow has been identified as the. water air plant and animal resources Planned trend dominant sediment transport mechanism on rangelands. is described as moving towards or away from the Tiscareno Lopez et al 1993 Water flow patterns are controlled. desired plant community or objective in length and coverage by the number and kinds of obstructions to. water flow provided by basal intercepts of living or dead plants. biological crust persistent litter or rocks They are rarely. On the worksheet make a judgement for each of the plant continuous and appear and disappear as the slope and. and soil factors and mark one of the three choices Document microtopography of the slope changes Shorter flow patterns. the major invading species and the estimated percent canopy facilitate infiltration by helping to pond water in depositional areas. cover in the blocks provided if applicable Determine trend thereby increasing the time for water to soak into the soil. by adding the marks in each column and circling the trend Generally as slope increases and ground cover decreases. determination for apparent trend and planned trend if flow patterns increase Morgan 1986 Soils with inherently low. 190 NRPH AMENDMENT OR 3 March 2010 OR 4 65, Chapter 4 Inventorying and Monitoring Grazing National Range and Pasture Handbook.
Land Resources, infiltration capacity may have a large number of natural flow 5 Gullies. patterns A gully is a channel that has been cut into the soil by. moving water Gullies generally follow natural drainages and are. 3 Pedestals and or Terracettes caused by accelerated water flow and the resulting downcutting of. Pedestals and terracettes are important indicators of the soil Gullies are a natural feature of some landscapes and. movement of soil by water and or by wind Anderson 1974 Morgan ecological sites while on others management actions e g. 1986 Satterlund and Adams 1992 Hudson 1993 Pedestals are excessive grazing recreation vehicles or road drainages may. rocks or plants that appear elevated as a result of soil loss by wind cause gullies to form or expand Morgan 1986 In gullies water. or water erosion Pedestals can also be caused by non erosional flow is concentrated but intermittent Gullies can be caused by. processes such as frost heaving or through soil or litter deposition resource problems offsite document this on the Evaluation Sheet. on and around plants Hudson 1993 Thus it is important to Appendix 2 but still affect the site function on the evaluation. distinguish and not include this type of pedestalling as an area. indication of erosional processes Gullies may be assessed by observing the numbers of gullies. Terracettes are benches of soil deposition behind obstacles in an area and or assessing the severity of erosion on individual. caused by water movement not wind As the degree of soil gullies General signs of active erosion e g incised sides along a. movement by water increases terracettes become higher and more gully are indicative of a current erosional problem while a. numerous and the area of soil deposition becomes larger healing gully is characterized by rounded banks vegetation. Terracettes caused by livestock or wildlife movements on hillsides growing in the bottom and on the sides Anderson 1974 and a. are not considered erosional terracettes thus they are not assessed reduction in gully depth Martin and Morton 1993 Active. in this protocol However these terracettes can affect erosion by headcuts may be a sign of accelerated erosion in a gully even if the. concentrating water flow and or changing infiltration These rest of the gully is showing signs of healing Morgan 1986. effects are recorded with the appropriate indicators e g water flow. patterns compaction layer and soil surface loss and degradation 6 Wind Scoured Blowouts and or Deposition Areas. Accelerated wind erosion on an otherwise stable soil. 4 Bare Ground increases as the surface crust i e either physical chemical or. Bare ground is exposed mineral or organic soil that is biological crust is worn by disturbance or abrasion Physical. susceptible to raindrop splash erosion the initial form of most crusts are extremely important in protecting the soil surface from. water related erosion Morgan 1986 It is the remaining ground wind erosion on many rangelands with low canopy foliar cover. cover after accounting for ground surface covered by vegetation The exposed soil beneath these surface crusts is often weakly. basal and canopy foliar cover litter standing dead vegetation consolidated and vulnerable to movement via wind Chepil and. gravel rock and visible biological crust e g lichen mosses algae Woodruff 1963 As wind velocity increases soil particles begin. Weltz et al 1998 bouncing against each other in the saltation process This. The amount and distribution of bare ground is one of the abrasion leads to suspension of fine particles into the wind stream. most important contributors to site stability relative to the site where they may be transported off the site Chepil 1945 Gillette et. potential therefore it is a direct indication of site susceptibility to al 1972 Gillette et al 1974 Gillette and Walker 1977 Hagen. accelerated wind or water erosion Smith and Wischmeier 1962 1984. Morgan 1986 Benkobi et al 1993 Blackburn and Pierson 1994 Wind erosion is reflected by wind scoured or blowout areas. Pierson et al 1994 Gutierrez and Hernandez 1996 Cerda 1999 where the finer particles of the topsoil have blown away sometimes. In general a site with bare soil present in a few large patches will leaving residual gravel rock or exposed roots on the soil surface. be less stable than a site with the same ground cover percentage in Anderson 1974 They are generally found in interspace areas. which the bare soil is distributed in many small patches especially with a close correlation between soil cover bare patch size soil. if these patches are unconnected Gould 1982 Spaeth et al 1994 texture and degree of accelerated erosion Morgan 1986. Puigdefabregas and Sanchez 1996 Deposition of suspended soil particles is often associated. The amount of bare ground can vary seasonally depending with vegetation that provides roughness to slow the wind velocity. on impacts on vegetation canopy foliar cover e g herbivore and allow soil particles to settle from the wind stream The taller. utilization and litter amount e g trampling loss and can vary the vegetation the greater the deposition rate Pye 1987 thus. annually relative to weather e g drought above average shrubs and trees in rangeland ecosystems are likely sinks for. precipitation Gutierrez and Hernandez 1996 Anderson 1974 deposition e g mesquite dunes Gibbens et al 1983 Hennessey et. Current and past climate must be considered in determining the al 1983 The soil removed from wind scoured depressions is. adequacy of current cover in protecting the site against the redistributed to accumulation areas e g eolian deposits which. potential for accelerated erosion increase in size and area of coverage as the degree of wind erosion. increases Anderson 1974, Like water erosion wind deposited soil particles can. originate from offsite but affect the function of the site by. modifying soil surface texture Hennessey et al 1986 Morin and. Van Winkel 1996 The changes in texture will influence the site s. hydrologic function Even when soil particles originate from. offsite they can have detrimental effects on plants at the. depositional site,OR 4 66 190 NRPH AMENDMENT OR 3 March 2010. Chapter 4 Inventorying and Monitoring Grazing National Range and Pasture Handbook. Land Resources, 7 Litter Movement distinguish between the loss and degradation of the soil surface. The degree and amount of litter i e dead plant material For the purposes of this indicator this distinction is unnecessary. that is in contact with the soil surface movement is an indicator of the objective is to determine to what extent the functional. the degree of wind and or water erosion The redistribution of litter characteristics of the surface layer have been degraded Note also. within a small area on a site is indicative of less erosion whereas that visible soil erosion is covered in discussions of Indicator 3. the movement of litter offsite is an indication of more severe Pedestals and or Terracettes and subsurface degradation in. erosion In a study in the Edwards Plateau in Texas litter Indicator 11 Compaction Layer. accumulation was shown to be the variable most closely correlated The two primary indicators used to make this evaluation are. with interrill erosion The same study showed that litter of the organic matter content Dormaar and Willms 1998 and the. bunchgrasses represented significant obstructions to runoff structure Karlen and Stott 1994 of the surface layer or horizon. thereby causing sediment transport capacity to be reduced and a Soil organic matter content is frequently reflected in a darker color. portion of the sediment to be deposited Thurow et al 1988a of the soil although high amounts of oxidized iron common in. The inherent capacity for litter movement on a soil is a humid climates can obscure the organic matter In arid soils. function of its slope and geomorphic stability For example where organic matter contents are low this accumulation can be. alluvial fans and flood plains are active surfaces over which water quite faint The use of a mister to wet the soil profile can help. and sediments are moved in response to major storm events The make these layers more visible. amount of litter movement varies from large to small depending on Soil structural degradation is reflected by the loss of clearly. the amount of bare space typical of the plant community and the defined structural units or aggregates at one or more scales from. intensity of the storm 1 8 inch to 3 to 4 inches In soils with good structure pores of. The size of litter moved by wind or water is also an indicator various sizes are visible within the aggregates Structural. of the degree of litter redistribution In general the greater degradation is reflected in a more massive homogeneous surface. distance that litter is moved from its point of origin and the larger horizon and is associated with a reduction in infiltration rates. the size and or amount of litter moved the more the site is being Warren et al 1986 In heavier soils degradation may also be. influenced by erosional processes reflected by more angular structural units Comparisons to intact. soil profiles at reference sites can also be used although in cases of. severe degradation the removal of part or all of the A horizon or. 8 Soil Surface Resistance to Erosion of one or more textural components e g Hennessey et al 1986. This indicator assesses the resistance of the surface of the may make identification of appropriate reference areas difficult. soil to erosion Resistance depends on soil stability. microtopography and on the spatial variability in soil stability. relative to vegetation and microtopographic features The stability 10 Plant Community Composition and Distribution. of the soil surface is key to this indicator Soil surfaces may be Relative to Infiltration and Runoff. stabilized by soil organic matter which has been fully incorporated Vegetation growth form is an important determinant of. into aggregates at the soil surface adhesion of decomposing infiltration rate and interrill erosion Thurow et al 1988a b The. organic matter to the soil surface and biological crusts The distribution of the amount and type of vegetation has been found to. presence of one or more of these factors is a good indicator of soil be an important factor controlling spatial and temporal variations. surface resistance to erosion in infiltration and interrill erosion rates on rangelands in Nevada. Where soil surface resistance is high soil erosion may be Blackburn 1975 Blackburn and Wood 1990 Idaho Johnson and. minimal even under rainfall intensities of over 5 inches hour Gordon 1988 Blackburn and Wood 1990 and Texas Wood and. generating high runoff rates on plots from which all cover has Blackburn 1984 Thurow et al 1988a b. been removed Conversely the presence of highly erodible Changes in plant community composition see Appendix 3. materials at the soil surface can dramatically increase soil erosion Functional Structural Groups Sheet and the distribution of species. by water even when there is high vegetative cover and by wind can influence positively or negatively the ability of a site to. when vegetative cover is removed capture and store precipitation Plant rooting patterns litter. In areas with low vegetative cover the stability of soil in the production and associated decomposition processes basal area and. plant interspaces is more important than stability under plants spatial distribution can all affect infiltration and or runoff In the. Similarly where pedestals have formed along flow paths the soil at Edwards Plateau in Texas shifts in plant composition between. the edge of the pedestal will be subjected to more intense forces bunchgrass and short grasses over time have the greatest potential. during overland flow than soil which is topographically above the to influence infiltration and soil erosion Thurow et al 1986. flow path 1988a b An example of a composition change that reduces. This indicator is not applicable to areas in which there is no infiltration and increases water runoff is the conversion of desert. soil present at the surface due to the presence of an extensive grasslands to shrub dominated communities Schlesinger et al. erosion pavement nearly 100 percent surface cover by stones or 1990 However infiltration and runoff are also affected when. there is continuous open water sagebrush steppe rangeland is converted to a monoculture of. annual grasses These annual grasses provide excellent watershed. 9 Soil Surface Loss or Degradation protection although snow entrapment and soil water storage may. be reduced by this vegetation type conversion Care must be. The loss or degradation of part or all of the soil surface layer. exercised in interpreting this indicator in different ecosystems as. or horizon is an indication of a loss in site potential Dormaar and. the same species may have different effects, Willms 1998 Davenport et al 1998 In most sites the soil at and.
near the surface has the highest organic matter and nutrient. content This generally controls the maximum rate of water. infiltration into the soil and is essential for successful seedling. establishment Wood et al 1997 As erosion increases the. potential for loss of soil surface organic matter increases resulting. in further degradation of soil structure Historic soil erosion may. result in complete loss of this layer Satterlund and Adams 1992. O Hara et al 1993 In areas with limited slope where wind. erosion does not occur the soil may remain in place but all. characteristics that distinguish the surface from the subsurface. layers are lost Except in soils with a clearly defined horizon. immediately below the surface e g argillic it is often difficult to.


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