The Rangeland Journal The Rangeland Journal Society
Rangeland ecology and management

The Rangeland Journal

The Rangeland Journal

The Rangeland Journal publishes original work on the biophysical, social, cultural, economic, and policy influences affecting rangeland use and management. Read more about the journalMore

Editor-in-Chief: Paul Novelly

Current Issue

The Rangeland Journal

Volume 38 Number 6 2016

Increasingly widespread provision of stock water is seen as a threat to Australian rangeland vegetation, but attempts to demonstrate that vegetation composition is better at sites more distant from water have been largely unsuccessful. One likely reason is that most studies have been conducted within the geographic range of rabbits but without accounting for rabbits’ impact. Successful strategies to define the problem and to conserve vegetation in southern Australian rangelands will need to address the impact of rabbits and large water-dependent herbivores simultaneously.

RJ16079Chemical immobilisation and rangeland species: assessment of a helicopter darting method for Australian cattle

Jordan O. Hampton, Anja Skroblin, Tom R. De Ridder and Andrew L. Perry
pp. 533-540

Chemical immobilisation (darting) is increasingly being used for the management of rangeland animals but it has not been widely applied to free-ranging cattle. In this study we assessed the animal welfare impacts of a newly developed helicopter-based immobilisation technique for free-ranging Australian rangeland cattle (Bos taurus and Bos indicus). Eighteen cattle were captured but quantified animal welfare parameters were sub-optimal, emphasising the challenges associated with the use of helicopters and immobilising food-producing species. We encourage rangeland managers to carefully consider animal welfare impacts before undertaking chemical immobilisation programs.

Recurrent socio-productive and environmental problems in rural regions are at the focus of demands from policy makers to develop more integrated and problem-oriented solutions. We suggest the application of the state-and-transition approach at a household level, by considering five types of capital that typically comprise social-ecological systems: natural, human, manufactured, social and financial. This framework can give rise to an operative tool for social-ecological vulnerability analysis and monitoring in arid and semi-arid agro-ecosystems.

RJ15122Comparison of stocking methods for beef production in northern Australia: seasonal diet quality and composition

Trevor J. Hall, John G. McIvor, Paul Jones, David R. Smith and David G. Mayer
pp. 553-567

Managing the pressure and timing of grazing and the nutrition of beef cattle can improve productivity and profitability of grazing businesses. A 4-year study of 21 examples of three stocking methods on nine properties across Queensland examined stocking methods aimed at optimising both pasture management and diet selection. The results showed that cattle can select a diet with higher crude protein in the pasture growing season from continuous stocking, which includes some short rest periods, than from more intensive rotational methods.

RJ16021Seed fall, seed predation, twigging and litter fall of Cascabela thevetia (L.) Lippold

Faiz F. Bebawi, Shane D. Campbell and Robert J. Mayer
pp. 569-577

The once popular garden plant yellow oleander has become naturalised at several locations in northern Australia, where it is reducing plant biodiversity and pasture production. Seeds of yellow oleander have become a food source for several native birds, such as cockatoos. This study explored the interaction between yellow oleander and native birds and concluded that although substantial seed predation occurs, yellow oleander produces enough seed all year round in riparian habitats to replenish soil seed reserves.

RJ16023Soil respiration simulation based on soil temperature and water content in artificial smooth brome grassland

Juying Wu, Zhuo Pang, Tiejun Sun, Haiming Kan, Wei Hu and Xiaona Li
pp. 579-589

As the climate has changed, seasonality shifts have become prevalent across regions and ecosystems and have significantly influenced on soil respiration and, hence, the soil carbon pool. Therefore, model simulations of soil respiration must consider the influence of seasonality; an improved soil respiration simulation model based on season-specific soil temperature and soil water conditions is proposed in this paper. The relevance of this finding pertains to its more accurate predictions and models of soil respiration in temperate artificial grasslands.

Climate change might have caused recent noticed greening of the mountains around the Lhasa valley of Tibet. Obviously increased grassland biomass growth between 1982 and 2012 revealed by satellite images was significantly related to elevated temperature and changed precipitation in the region. Investigation on recent changes in grassland biomass growth in Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau helps to understand the impacts of climate change on and to improve management of highland grasslands.

RJ16062GIS-modelling of land-use trends: impact of drought in the Naghamish Basin (North Western Egypt)

S. Saïdi, G. Gintzburger, P. Bonnet, I. Daoud and V. Alary
pp. 605-618

Using GIS and RS, we analysed the land use and vegetation cover changes following the drought affecting three tribes settled in the Naghamish Basin near Marsa Matrouh (North-western Egypt) at the margin of the Sahara desert. The statistical analysis of 67 years of annual rainfall does not substantiate a local climate change. However, the farmers’ deep perception of the 1996–2011 droughts is confirmed as it undoubtedly affected their land use, agricultural systems, their barley cropping and livestock industry, coercing them to reduce their rain-fed crops and stocking rates.

Online Early

The peer-reviewed and edited version of record published online before inclusion in an issue

Published online 09 January 2017

RJ16087Effectiveness of best practice management guides for improving invasive species management: a review

Michael J. Coleman, Brian M. Sindel and Richard A. Stayner

Best practice management guides are an important way of reaching land managers in Australia with comprehensive information on managing invasive species. We sought to determine the effectiveness of best practice management guides as well as the range of evaluation approaches available through a review of literature, concluding that limited information is available on best practice management guide effectiveness, and that evaluation is likely to be challenging. However, the literature does suggest that some evaluation options are available to government agencies distributing these materials.

Published online 05 January 2017

RJ16014A woody plant community and tree-cacti associations change with distance to a water source in a dry Chaco forest of Argentina

Carolina B. Trigo, Andrés Tálamo, Mauricio M. Núñez-Regueiro, Enrique J. Derlindati, Gustavo A. Marás, Alicia H. Barchuk and Antonio Palavecino

Despite the regional importance of livestock production in arid and semiarid regions, little is known about the possible effects of livestock on the regeneration of woody plant communities in dry forests. We evaluated the interaction of native woody plants and livestock pressure; when we compared areas far from a water source (low pressure) with areas near a water source (high pressure), we found lower plant abundance and richness, and higher number of spatial associations between young trees and cacti key species near the water source. We propose that livestock has a strong impact on forest structure, and the association between trees and cacti could act as regeneration mechanism with possible restauration applications.

Published online 05 January 2017

RJ15114Cattle landscape selectivity is influenced by ecological and management factors in a heterogeneous mountain rangeland

A. R. von Müller, D. Renison and A. M. Cingolani

Cattle selectivity in natural grasslands is one of the most important aspects to understand herbivore behaviour, and accordingly, a key factor necessary for improving livestock production in rangelands. We found that cattle landscape selectivity was mainly driven by the cover of short plants. Strength of selectivity and associated grazing distribution patterns were different depending on paddock management and characteristics. Effective methods of changing animal distribution involve paddock design and manipulation of forage types, while the role of stocking rate remains controversial.

Published online 05 January 2017

RJ16050Monitoring of plant phenology and seed production identifies two distinct seed collection seasons in the Australian arid zone

Alison L. Ritchie, Todd E. Erickson and David J. Merritt

As the global demand for native seeds for ecosystem restoration increases, plant phenological studies should be pursued to contribute to strategies for seed supply from wild or managed sources. Nineteen arid zone species of different life-forms including grasses, shrubs and trees were studied in the Pilbara, Western Australia, to determine their seasonal flowering and seed production patterns. Two distinct seed collection seasons are evident in the Pilbara, indicating that co-existing species exploit the available resources differently. These disparate flowering and seed production seasons may represent adaptations to the surrounding arid environment where water is a limiting resource.

Naturalised non-native plants that become invasive pose a serious incursion threat to biodiversity, agricultural businesses and community health. Understanding and quantifying the invasion threat of these species within protected areas is fundamental to long-term conservation of biodiversity. Twenty-seven weeds of State significance were observed inside and 41 weed species were observed outside of protected areas in the Cape York Peninsula bioregion, whereas 25 such weeds were only observed outside the protected areas in the Desert Uplands bioregion.

Just Accepted

These articles have been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. They are still in production and have not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

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