Manipulative range improvements--principles and practices

TitleManipulative range improvements--principles and practices
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication1981
AuthorsHerbel C.H.
Conference NameProceedings of the International Symposium on Advances in Food Producing Systems for Arid and Semiarid Lands
Date Published1981
Conference LocationKuwait City, Kuwait


Our expanding population is demanding more productivity from our rangelands. Range science is concerned with the plants, animals, soils, and waters on rangelands, and particularly, the interaction of these factors. Native plant communities should only be used as guides to determine site potential. Extensive practices on rangelands include manipulation of animals and burning. Intensive practices include control of unwanted plants, revegetation, and fertilization. When properly conducted, intensive manipulative practices result in much higher production than occurred before treatment.

The most effective method, whether chemical or mechanical, for control of unwanted plants varies with the site, the species, and the degree of infestation. Revegetation may be required where desirable vegetation has been depleted by past grazing abuses, droughts, and encroachments of unwanted plants. Water is generally the primary factor limiting plant growth but when that need has been satisfied, additional plant nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus may be useful. Principles and practices of plant control, revegetation, and fertilization are presented. These. more costly practices are riskier and require higher management it1puts, but the potential benefits are great. With changing technology or favorable economic conditions, the range manager may decide to intensify his range improvement efforts.