Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Unequal utilization of vegetation was exhibited by yearling steers under two different grazing treatments, season- long stocked (SLS) and intensive early stocked (IES). At the beginning of the grazing season, some areas were lightly to moderately grazed, whereas the remainder of the range was ignored. These areas were grazed repeatedly, resulting in overgrazed patches. As the season progressed, the proportion of the range consisting of overgrazed patches increased, whereas the rest of the range became selectively grazed to a lesser extent. By the end of the grazing season, more than 70% of both pastures was grazed to some extent, with only a portion of this percentage being overgrazed. The IES pasture had 56% of its area consisting of overgrazed patches, whereas the SLS pasture varied from 23 to 40% depending on the year. The patches tended to be in the same locations from year to year under the SLS treatment but not under the IES treatment. Overgrazed patches contained more buffalo grass and less western wheatgrass than under-grazed patches, and no significant differences in properties of the soil were found between patches. Although livestock avoided grazing near feces and unpalatable plants, this was not responsible for the majority of the patch-grazing. The areas of the range that were grazed initially were more important in determining which areas became overgrazed patches by the end of the grazing season.


Robert Nicholson

Date of Award

Fall 1982

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


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