The effects of grazing on soil physical and chemical properties and plant diversity in North-Central Alberta

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • The grazing of livestock is often harmful, causing degradation of the land, but it can also act as a natural disturbance that contributes to the health of an ecosystem. This suggests that the effects of grazing involve interactions between the grazing regime and the properties of the particular study area, showing that a generic approach to grazing management will prove ineffective. This study compared soil chemical and physical properties and plant diversity between a grazed (GR) and grazing excluded (GE) plot in a north-central Alberta location in order to determine the effects of grazing in this region where, to my knowledge, no similar study has been conducted. Results showed that grazed land was associated with increased bulk density and decreased soil moisture and plant diversity. The grazed study area also had higher levels of bare ground and a greater proportion of invasive species. The sand fraction of the soil in the grazed area was 11% higher than in the non-grazed area, providing evidence for erosion. Soil moisture was the measurement most significantly affected by grazing (p = 6.09E-10), suggesting that management strategies in north-central Alberta should focus on this parameter.

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  • Type of Item
    Research Material
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  • License
    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International