Arapaho Prairie in western Nebraska has d o c u m e n t e d an increase in the productivity of warm-season grasses and a shift in the structure of sandprairie habitats following the cessation of grazing. There is little d o u b t that overgrazing is a severe ecological problem. Yet, ecologically responsible grazing can be an important management tool for conservationists. In addition to preserving landscape and community structure, in some areas relatively low-tech farming methods such as rotational grazing may represent our last best chance to preserve family farms and other smaller farming and ranching operations. The implementation of less energy and capital intensive farming methods, by t h w a r t i n g the i n c r e a s e d scale and mechanization of agriculture and the relentless urbanization of the landscape, may be crucial for p r e s e r v i n g landscape matrix and ecological function. Milchunas, D.G., W.K. Lauenroth. 1993. Quantitative effects of grazing on vegetation and soils over a global range of environments. Ecological Monographs 63:327-366. Milchunas, D. G., O. E. Sala, and W. K. Lauenroth. 1988. A generalized model
Conservation Biology – Wiley
Published: Apr 1, 1995
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