Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The purpose of this study was to determine effects of mowing and grazing on native vegetation of grasslands compared to a relict area. Three areas were selected in relation to past treatment: relict, mowed and moderately grazed. On each area two sites were selected, a breaks site and a limy upland site. The relict area used for study is located on southeast quarter of S6, T14S, R18W, mowed on southeast quarter of S35, T13S, R19W, and moderately grazed on southeast quarter of S36, T13S, R19W; all near Hays, Kansas in Ellis County. Vegetation of the three areas was sampled by the point transect method to determine percent composition, basal cover and frequency. A total of 400 sets or 4,000 points was taken at random. Yields were obtained by clipping eight square meter plots on each site. Soils of the three areas were analyzed for texture, pH and organic matter. Analysis was done to determine the amount of variation between the sites. Texture was determined by the Bouyoucos hydrometer method, pH by the Beckman pH meter and organic matter by wet digestion method. Dominant grasses on the relict breaks site were side-oats grama, big bluestem and little bluestem which made up 90.22 percent of the vegetation. The mowed breaks site supported the same dominant grasses as the relict site but little bluestem almost doubled in composition. Dominants on the grazed breaks site were side-oats grama with 30.10 percent and hairy grama with 19.97 percent composition. Tall grasses decreased and shortgrasses increased due to grazing on the breaks sites. Total basal cover for the relict, mowed, and grazed breaks sites was 21.51, 24.14 and 16.50 percent, respectively. Mowing increased basal cover but grazing decreased basal cover. Total forage yields on the relict, mowed and moderately grazed breaks sites was 2187.8, 1899.3 and 1975.0 pounds per acre, respectively. Dominant grass on the relict limy upland was big blue-stem but the dominant of mowed and grazed sites was side-oats grama. Big bluestem decreased and blue grama increased as a result of mowing and grazing on the limy upland sites. Just a trace of buffalo grass was found on the relict site but was abundant on the mowed and grazed sites. Total basal cover on the relict, mowed and grazed limy upland sites was 20.20, 30.25, and 28.82 percent, respectively. Total forage yields on the relict, mowed and grazed limy upland sites was 2403.4, 2278.4 and 2141.8 pounds per acre, respectively.


G. W. Tomanek

Date of Award

Spring 1963

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1963 David D. Ankle


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