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Environmental Management

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 485–491 | Cite as

Effects of herbage removal on productivity of selected high-sierra meadow community types

  • Thomas J. Stohlgren
  • Steven H. DeBenedetti
  • David J. Parsons
Research

Abstract

We investigated the effects of herbage removal on three subalpine meadow plant communities in the Rock Creek drainage of Sequoia National Park, California, USA. In the xericCarex exserta Mkze. (short-hair sedge) type, annual aboveground productivity averaged 19 g/m2 in control plots (clipped once after plant senescence in late September) over a five-year period. Annual aboveground productivity was enhanced about 30%–35% when plots in this community type were clipped more frequently (i.e., “additional” herbage removal in the early, mid, and late seasons) during each of four treatment years but was reduced by 13%–19% during a fifth (recovery) year in which all but late September clipping was suspended. In a moderately mesicEleocharis pauciflora (Lightf.) Link. (few-flowered spike rush)-Calamagrostis breweri Thurb. (short-hair grass) type, control plot productivity averaged 115 g/m2/yr and was reduced by 20–30% by the additional herbage removal. A more mesicDeschampsia caespitosa (L.) Beauv. (tufted hairgrass)-Carex rostrata Stokes, (beaked sedge) type had the greatest mean above-ground productivity (169 g/m2/yr) but also showed damage (i.e., decrease in productivity by 15%–20%) caused by the additional herbage removal. These data suggest that longterm, intensive herbage removal may be more detrimental to moderately mesic and mesic subalpine meadow community types than to xeric types.

Key words

Grazing Sierra Nevada Stock use Subalpine meadows 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas J. Stohlgren
    • 1
  • Steven H. DeBenedetti
    • 2
  • David J. Parsons
    • 3
  1. 1.Cooperative National Parks Studies UnitUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  2. 2.Pinnacles National MonumentPaicinesUSA
  3. 3.Sequoia and Kings Canyon National ParksThree RiversUSA

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