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Grazing management influences the dynamics of populations of Stylosanthes hippocampoides (Oxley fine stem stylo)

Orr, D.M. (2008) Grazing management influences the dynamics of populations of Stylosanthes hippocampoides (Oxley fine stem stylo). Tropical Grasslands, 42 (4). pp. 193-201.

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Publisher URL: http://www.tropicalgrasslands.asn.au

Abstract

This paper describes a study to identify those factors which control the persistence of the Subtropical legume Stylosanthes hippocampoides, formerly S. guianensis cv. Oxley (fine stem stylo). The dynamics of S. hippocampoides populations was recorded in permanent quadrats at 2 stocking rates in a grazing study conducted between 1987 and 1992 in south-eastern Queensland. Density of mature plants fluctuated between 10 and 60 plants/m(2) during the 5 years with the major contributing factors being variations in seedling recruitment and survival, which, in turn, reflected the size of the soil seed bank and seasonal rainfall. Plant density was consistently higher at the lower stocking rate of 1 beast/1.5 ha compared with 1 beast/1 ha; however, the effect of stocking rate was minor compared with fluctuation due to seasonal variation in rainfall. The maximum life span of the original plants exceeded 5 years, while the survival of seedling cohorts was strongly impacted by seasonal rainfall. Total exclosure from grazing during summer increased the size of the soil seed bank although a precise time period during summer was not identified, while grazing at the lower stocking pressure produced the same outcome. It was concluded that the large seasonal variation that occurs in S. hippocampoides density is driven by large seasonal variation in seedling recruitment, which, in turn, is influenced by the size of the soil seed bank.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Animal Science
Additional Information:© Tropical Grassland Society of Australia Inc.
Keywords:Digitaria decumbens; pastures; South-Eastern Queensland; stocking rate; Lotononis bainesii; persistence; sown.
Subjects:Animal culture > Rangelands. Range management. Grazing
Deposited On:14 Apr 2009 06:40
Last Modified:17 Mar 2011 06:26

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