Effect of Rancher’s Management Philosophy, Grazing Practices, and Personal Characteristics on Sustainability Indices for North Central Texas Rangeland Page: 13
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by intensive grazing negatively affects some insects and arachnids, especially the smaller and
more sedentary species, however, abundance of arthropods increased more substantially in
relation to tussocks than swards (Dennis et al., 1998). Vegetation structure is also important to
birds. It has been shown that shorter swards favor birds foraging on soil invertebrates, but taller
swards favor those feeding on seeds or foliage (Atkinson et al., 2005; Buckingham et al., 2006).
Grass steppe represented the most desirable state in term of livestock production and soil
stability, while shrub steppe represented the most degraded and least productive state (Beeskow
et al., 1995). According to Wilson and Tupper (1982), range condition should be based
primarily on soil stability as soil degradation is the most serious manifestation of a decline in
range condition. Wind erosion of soils is likely to play an important role in the desert grasslands
of the southwestern United States, which have experienced dramatic vegetation changes
including extensive encroachment by shrublands over the past 150 years (Buffington and Herbel,
1965; Allred, 1996; Gibbens et al., 2005). Li et al. (2007) suggests that shrubs are relatively
ineffective at reducing wind erosion and nutrient loss compared to grasses. Vegetation changes
and soil degradation processes are closely related and may be site specific. Bosch and Kellner
(1991) emphasized the importance of understanding the process of rangeland degradation before
assessing the range condition of any area.
Soil erosion and sediment delivery from agricultural areas are responsible for the supply
of sediment-associated nutrients, pesticides and heavy-metal contaminants in many rivers and
streams (Steegen et al., 2001; Verstaeten and Poesen, 2002; and Lal., 2003). Sediment transport
capacity is 10 times greater for degraded pasture than pasture in that is not degraded (Verstraeten
et al., 2007).
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Becker, Wayne. Effect of Rancher’s Management Philosophy, Grazing Practices, and Personal Characteristics on Sustainability Indices for North Central Texas Rangeland, dissertation, December 2011; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103289/m1/24/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .