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Resting Subtropical Grasslands from Grazing in the Wet Season Boosts Biocrust Hotspots to Improve Soil Health
Year:
2022
Source of publication :
Agronomy (Switzerland)
Authors :
Zaady, Eli
;
.
Volume :
12
Co-Authors:

Wendy J. Williams

Susanne Schmidt

Eli Zaady

Bruce Alchin

Than Myint Swe

Stephen Williams

Madeline Dooley

Grace Penfold

Peter O’Reagain

John Bushell

Robyn Cowley

Colin Driscoll

Nicole Robinson

 

Facilitators :
From page:
0
To page:
0
(
Total pages:
1
)
Abstract:

Effective grazing management in Australia’s semi-arid rangelands requires monitoring landscape conditions and identifying sustainable and productive practice through understanding the interactions of environmental factors and management of soil health. Challenges include extreme rainfall variability, intensifying drought, and inherently nutrient-poor soils. We investigated the impacts of grazing strategies on landscape function—specifically soil health—as the foundation for productive pastures, integrating the heterogenous nature of grass tussocks and the interspaces that naturally exist in between them. At Wambiana—a long-term research site in north-eastern Australia—we studied two soil types, two stocking rates (high, moderate), and resting land from grazing during wet seasons (rotational spelling). Rotational spelling had the highest biocrust (living soil cover), in interspaces and under grass tussocks. Biocrusts were dominated by cyanobacteria that binds soil particles, reduces erosion, sequesters carbon, fixes nitrogen, and improves soil fertility. Rotational spelling with a moderate stocking rate emerged as best practice at these sites, with adjustment of stocking rates in line with rainfall and soil type recommended. In drought-prone environments, monitoring the presence and integrity of biocrusts connects landscape function and soil health. Biocrusts that protect and enrich the soil will support long-term ecosystem integrity and economic profitability of cattle production in rangelands.

Note:
Related Files :
Biocrusts
drought
Drylands
Grazing
landscape function
Soil health
tropical rangeland
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Related Content
More details
DOI :
10.3390/agronomy12010062
Article number:
0
Affiliations:
Database:
Scopus
Publication Type:
article
;
.
Language:
English
Editors' remarks:
ID:
57801
Last updated date:
02/03/2022 17:27
Creation date:
04/02/2022 00:27
You may also be interested in
Scientific Publication
Resting Subtropical Grasslands from Grazing in the Wet Season Boosts Biocrust Hotspots to Improve Soil Health
12

Wendy J. Williams

Susanne Schmidt

Eli Zaady

Bruce Alchin

Than Myint Swe

Stephen Williams

Madeline Dooley

Grace Penfold

Peter O’Reagain

John Bushell

Robyn Cowley

Colin Driscoll

Nicole Robinson

 

Resting Subtropical Grasslands from Grazing in the Wet Season Boosts Biocrust Hotspots to Improve Soil Health

Effective grazing management in Australia’s semi-arid rangelands requires monitoring landscape conditions and identifying sustainable and productive practice through understanding the interactions of environmental factors and management of soil health. Challenges include extreme rainfall variability, intensifying drought, and inherently nutrient-poor soils. We investigated the impacts of grazing strategies on landscape function—specifically soil health—as the foundation for productive pastures, integrating the heterogenous nature of grass tussocks and the interspaces that naturally exist in between them. At Wambiana—a long-term research site in north-eastern Australia—we studied two soil types, two stocking rates (high, moderate), and resting land from grazing during wet seasons (rotational spelling). Rotational spelling had the highest biocrust (living soil cover), in interspaces and under grass tussocks. Biocrusts were dominated by cyanobacteria that binds soil particles, reduces erosion, sequesters carbon, fixes nitrogen, and improves soil fertility. Rotational spelling with a moderate stocking rate emerged as best practice at these sites, with adjustment of stocking rates in line with rainfall and soil type recommended. In drought-prone environments, monitoring the presence and integrity of biocrusts connects landscape function and soil health. Biocrusts that protect and enrich the soil will support long-term ecosystem integrity and economic profitability of cattle production in rangelands.

Scientific Publication
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