Grazing in grasslands creates changes in plant community structure. The magnitude of these changes depends on the productivity and the intensity of grazing. Low productivity grasslands coupled with high grazing intensity may lead to shrub encroachment in some aridland ecosystems. We examined the effects of cattle grazing in arid grassland at the Sevilleta LTER site in central New Mexico USA where cattle were removed in 1973 and an area just north of the Sevilleta LTER where grazing by cattle still occurs. At each site we measured plant species composition and cover in permanent plots in the spring and fall from 2004 to 2007. Quadrats were clipped annually to quantify aboveground standing crop to answer the following questions: 1) Does cattle grazing affect plant species composition and standing crop? 2) Does grazing alter community response to inter-annual climate variability? and 3) How does grazing impact the abundance of native grasses?
Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity (KNB) Identifier
Data Policies: This dataset is released to the public and may be freely downloaded. Please keep the designated Contact person informed of any plans to use the dataset. Consultation or collaboration with the original investigators is strongly encouraged. Publications and data products that make use of the dataset must include proper acknowledgement of the Sevilleta LTER. Datasets must be cited as in the example provided. A copy of any publications using these data must be supplied to the Sevilleta LTER Information Manager. By downloading any data you implicitly acknowledge the LTER Data Policy (http://www.lternet.edu/data/netpolicy.html).
2004-05-04 - 2007-09-13
Cattle pastures are currently grazed, exclosures added in 1993. Plots are located on both sides of the dirt road in the cattle pasture.On the eastern side of McKenzie and Nunn Flats areas just west of the Los Pinos Mountains
Collins, Scott; Zeglin, Lydia (2010-09-15): Livestock Exclosure Study: Plant Species Composition in a Chihuahuan Desert Grassland at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico (2004-2007). Long Term Ecological Research Network. http://dx.doi.org/10.6073/pasta/a00066a3ba950e4c7295fa3329a75cb1