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Environmental Management

, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 301–308 | Cite as

Montane Meadow Plant Community Response to Livestock Grazing

  • Matthew R. Freitas
  • Leslie M. RocheEmail author
  • Dave Weixelman
  • Kenneth W. Tate
Article

Abstract

We examined long-term (10 years) meadow plant community responses to (1) livestock grazing under riparian grazing utilization limits; (2) suspension of livestock grazing; and (3) meadow site wetness and precipitation on the Inyo National Forest, California. Observed trends in meadow plant species richness, diversity, and frequency of soil stabilizing species were not significantly different between grazed (N = 16) and non-grazed (N = 9) study sites (P > 0.12 in all cases). Modest increases in richness and diversity were observed over the study period, but frequency of soil stabilizing species was constant. These results suggest that riparian conservation grazing strategies implemented during the study period neither degraded nor hampered recovery of meadow plant community conditions relative to non-grazed conditions. Meadow site wetness was negatively correlated to richness (P < 0.01) and diversity (P < 0.01), but was positively correlated to soil stabilization (P = 0.02). Precipitation was not a significant predictor for plant community responses.

Keywords

Sierra Nevada Riparian standards and guidelines United State Forest Service Public lands Inyo National Forest Kern Plateau 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was funded by the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region. David Lile, D. J. Eastburn, Kristin Oles, Kevin Rice, Andrew Latimer, Anne Yost, and Anton Jackson provided valuable assistance and insights in developing this manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew R. Freitas
    • 1
  • Leslie M. Roche
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dave Weixelman
    • 2
  • Kenneth W. Tate
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  2. 2.United States Forest Service, Pacific Southwest RegionNevada CityUSA

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