Science Center Objects
Grazing can have different impacts on an ecosystem including as a fire suppresant. USGS scientists are examining the effects of grazing in different environments to provide land resource managers with data they can use when determining grazing plans and actions.
CURRENT USGS SCIENCE:
- Elk and Bison Grazing Ecology in the San Luis Valley, Colorado
- Herbivore-Ecosystem Interactions
- Where the Bison Roam: Public-Private Partnership Supports Potential Restoration
- Integrated Conservation of Bison and Native Prairie at Badlands National Park, South Dakota
- USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Durability Assessment with FORT
- Grazing, Ungulate, and Disturbance Ecology
- Ecology of Elk on Department of Interior Lands in Southwest Wyoming
⇒ Return to Environments Science
Recent publications related to grazing are listed below.
Herbivory and eutrophication mediate grassland plant nutrient responses across a global climatic gradient
Plant stoichiometry, the relative concentration of elements, is a key regulator of ecosystem functioning and is also being altered by human activities. In this paper we sought to understand the global drivers of plant stoichiometry and compare the relative contribution of climatic vs. anthropogenic effects. We addressed this goal by measuring...Anderson, T. Michael; Griffith, Daniel M.; Grace, James B.; Lind, Eric M.; Adler, Peter B.; Biederman, Lori A.; Blumenthal, Dana M.; Daleo, Pedro; Firn, Jennifer; Hagenah, Nicole; Harpole, W. Stanley; MacDougall, Andrew S.; McCulley, Rebecca L.; Prober, Suzanne M.; Risch, Anita C.; Sankaran, Mahesh; Schütz, Martin; Seabloom, Eric W.; Stevens, Carly J.; Sullivan, Lauren; Wragg, Peter; Borer, Elizabeth T.
Functional group, biomass, and climate change effects on ecological drought in semiarid grasslands
Water relations in plant communities are influenced both by contrasting functional groups (grasses, shrubs) and by climate change via complex effects on interception, uptake and transpiration. We modelled the effects of functional group replacement and biomass increase, both of which can be outcomes of invasion and vegetation management, and...Wilson, Scott D.; Schlaepfer, Daniel R.; Bradford, John B.; Lauenroth, William K.; Duniway, Michael C.; Hall, Sonia A.; Jamiyansharav, Khishigbayar; Jia, Gensuo; Lkhagva, Ariuntsetseg; Munson, Seth M.; Pyke, David A.; Tietjen, Britta
Fire and grazing influence site resistance to Bromus tectorum through their effects on shrub, bunchgrass and biocrust communities in the Great Basin (USA)
Shrubs, bunchgrasses and biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are believed to contribute to site resistance to plant invasions in the presence of cattle grazing. Although fire is a concomitant disturbance with grazing, little is known regarding their combined impacts on invasion resistance. We are the first to date to test the idea that biotic...Condon, Lea A.; Pyke, David A.
Semi-arid grassland bird responses to patch-burn grazing and drought
As grassland birds of central North America experience steep population declines with changes in land use, management of remaining tracts becomes increasingly important for population viability. The integrated use of fire and grazing may enhance vegetation heterogeneity and diversity in breeding birds, but the subsequent effects on reproduction...Skagen, Susan K.; Augustine, David J.; Derner, Justin D.
Co-producing simulation models to inform resource management: a case study from southwest South Dakota
Simulation models can represent complexities of the real world and serve as virtual laboratories for asking “what if…?” questions about how systems might respond to different scenarios. However, simulation models have limited relevance to real-world applications when designed without input from people who could use the simulated scenarios to...Miller, Brian W.; Symstad, Amy J.; Frid, Leonardo; Fisichelli, Nicholas A.; Schuurman, Gregor W.
Vegetation response of a dry shrubland community to feral goat management on the island of Moloka‘i, Hawai‘i
The Hawaiian Islands are well known for their unique ecosystem assemblages that have a high proportion of endemic flora and fauna. However, since human colonization of this archipelago—starting with the arrival of Polynesian sailors approximately 1,200 years ago, and particularly following western contact in 1778—thousands of non-native species...Jacobi, James D.; Stock, Jonathan
Monitoring protocols: Options, approaches, implementation, benefits
Monitoring and adaptive management are fundamental concepts to rangeland management across land management agencies and embodied as best management practices for private landowners. Historically, rangeland monitoring was limited to determining impacts or maximizing the potential of specific land uses—typically grazing. Over the past several...Karl, Jason W.; Herrick, Jeffrey E.; Pyke, David A.
Using management to address vegetation stress related to land-use and climate change
While disturbances such as fire, cutting, and grazing can be an important part of the conservation of natural lands, some adjustments to management designed to mimic natural disturbance may be necessary with ongoing and projected climate change. Stressed vegetation that is incapable of regeneration will be difficult to maintain if adults are...Middleton, Beth A.; Boudell, Jere; Fisichelli, Nicholas
Conversion of native terrestrial ecosystems in Hawai‘i to novel grazing systems: a review
The remote oceanic islands of Hawai‘i exemplify the transformative effects that non-native herbivorous mammals can bring to isolated terrestrial ecosystems. We reviewed published literature containing systematically collected, analyzed, and peer-reviewed original data specifically addressing direct effects of non-native hoofed mammals (ungulates)...Leopold, Christina R.; Hess, Steven C.
News stories related to grazing are listed below.
Date published: March 23, 2018
Plant functional groups have contrasting effects on soil water availability by affecting interception, uptake, and transpiration.
Date published: March 9, 2018
Livestock grazing is a major use of public lands across the western United States but there is concern that grazing might have negative effects on sensitive species like the Columbia spotted frog.
Date published: March 9, 2018
Shrubs, bunchgrasses, and biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are believed to contribute to site resistance to plant invasions.
Date published: September 20, 2017
Date published: March 21, 2017
Livestock grazing effects on sage-grouse: study identifies options to sustain ranching and help wildlife
Effects of livestock grazing on greater sage-grouse populations can be positive or negative depending on the amount of grazing and when grazing occurs, according to research published today in Ecological Applications. The research was conducted by scientists from the United States Geological Survey, Colorado State University and Utah State University.
Date published: February 14, 2017
Handbook for sagebrush steppe restoration techniques can help sustain wildlife and western ecosystems
The sagebrush ecosystem in the western U.S is one of the largest ecosystems in North America, but it is also threatened from wildfire and invasive plants. “Restoration of these unique ecosystems will help sustain wildlife and livelihoods throughout the West," said David Pyke, the USGS ecologist and lead author of the final installment of a three-part sagebrush restoration handbook.
Date published: January 19, 2017
Managing 246 million acres: new science-based tools support Bureau of Land Management’s landscape approach
The U.S. Geological Survey and the Bureau of Land Management today released a collaborative report with new information and tools to support effective management of millions of acres of BLM public lands. The report underscores the value of a landscape approach to management, and shows that the BLM manages some of the largest areas of intact public lands in the west.