Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


This study was an attempt to determine soil and vegetative differences in pastures on upland and slope sites caused by different utilization rates in the past year. Soil and vegetative differences were determined with reference to the following factors: soil moisture; soil organic matter; surface soil pH; amount of mulch; basal cover; species composition; percent frequency; perennial grass growth; and production of the vegetation. Four ranges for studying soil and vegetative-differences were selected on the basis of appearance of the vegetative cover, remaining vegetative growth of the previous year, abundance of mulch and past utilization, and were classified as follows: non-grazed; light-grazed; moderately grazed; and heavily grazed. Exclosures were established on grazed ranges and five-meter square quadrats were arranged in each. Vegetation within each quadrat was measured weekly and clipped monthly. Findings were as follows: (1) Soil moisture was greater on slope than on upland sites on the basis of an average of soil depths and grazing conditions. (2) Soil moisture was more abundant at the 0.5 foot depth than at all other depths. (3) Organic matter in the surface six inches of soil on the upland site was generally increased in pastures with heavy utilization, while a decrease was recorded on the slope. (4) The main portion of organic matter was in the surface two feet of soil on both sites. (5) Soil pH generally was more acidic in the surface six inches with increased grazing. (6) Surface soils on sites five feet or more in depth were acidic and surface soils on sites less than five feet deep were basic. (1) The amount of mulch on the upland and slope sites generally decreased with utilization. (8) Under all grazing conditions mulch was more abundant on upland than on slope sites. (9) Basal cover on upland and slope sites generally increased with grazing. (10) Tall grasses were more abundant on under-utilized ranges, while short grasses were most abundant on moderately and heavily grazed ranges. (11) Annual grasses were most plentiful on moderately and heavily grazed pastures. (12) Vegetative structure was different on each site. (13) Species of forbs, total number of plants and number of plants per square foot was greater under heavy utilization. (14) Perennial grass on the non-grazed and lightly grazed ranges was taller and growth was greater on upland than on slope sites. (16) Amount of growth decrease from clipping was greater on non-grazed and lightly grazed areas. (17) Forage, perennial grass and annual grass production was greater on upland than on slope sites. (18) Seasonal perennial grass yield on the non- grazed and lightly grazed uplands was greater than on moderately and heavily grazed uplands. (19) Forb yield on the uplands increased with grazing. (20) Annual grass production on moderately and heavily grazed pastures was greater than on under-utilized pastures.


Floyd E. Kisinger

Date of Award

Spring 1962

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


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