The changing role of shrubs in rangeland-based livestock production systems: Can shrubs increase our forage supply?

TitleThe changing role of shrubs in rangeland-based livestock production systems: Can shrubs increase our forage supply?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsEstell R.E., Havstad K, Cibils AF, Anderson D.M., Schrader T. S
JournalRangelands
Volume36
Issue2
Start Page25
Pagination25-31
Date Published04/2014
ARIS Log Number304948
Keywordscattle, goats, grasslands, secondary plant metabolites, sheep, woody plants
Abstract

Projected global increases in ruminant numbers and loss of native grasslands will present a number of challenges for livestock agriculture. Escalated demand for livestock products may stimulate interest in using shrubs on western rangelands. A paradigm shift is needed to change the role of shrubs in rangeland ecosystems. Progress has occurred in identifying mechanisms to increase shrub use, but more solutions are needed to convert woody plants into red meat. Strategies for increasing shrub use could be important for rural communities to adapt to changing climate and shrub cover and for the livestock industry to adapt to predicted growth.

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