To provide guidance to range and forest managers a project was initiated in 1971 to study the effect of sowing non-rhizomatous species of domestic grasses and the effect of subsequent grazing of these, on the establishment, survival and growth of coniferous tree species (primarily lodgepole pine Pinus contorta var. latifolia Engelm.). Secondary objectives were to determine forage production and utilization, and to determine cattle weight gains under controlled rotational grazing of areas sown with domestic grasses.
Clearcuts of various sizes were selected for study and sown with domestic grasses, at the rate of 4.5 kg per ha. Portions of each clearcut, or similar adjacent, clearcut blocks, were left unseeded as controls. Coniferous regeneration on clearcuts was provided by either natural seed supply, planting, or direct seeding.
Where damage to lodgepole pine and spruce occurs, it is a result of repeated trampling rather than browsing. Therefore, clearcuts should be intensively gtazed for short periods of time only, particularly during' the first year of tree establishment.
Forage yields can be significantly increased on clearcuts by seeding domestic grasses.
A myriad of interactions between grass, trees and cattle may occur between or within years but, generally, there is compatibility between trees and grass provided that cooperation exists between managers and users of the resource. There is some evidence:to suggest that domestic grasses, where ungrazed, may inhibit height growth of lodgepole pine but this evidence is inconclusive at the present time.
The degree of forage utilization and the period of time when, and over which, the forage is utilized, are the most critical factors in the over-all question of tree - grass compatibility. However, on the plus side, overstocking of lodgepole pine on some sites may be reduced by temporarily grazing heavily.
Further details are available in Research Note #83, "Compatibility of Grass Seeding and Coniferous Regeneration of Clearcuts in the South Central Interior of British Columbia", by M.B. Clark and A. McLean, which can be obtained from Information Division, B.C. Ministry of Forests, .Parliament Buildings, Victoria. B.C. V8V 1X5.
[Abstract contains full text of memo.]
BC Forest Service - Research Division. 1978. Compatibility of grass seeding and coniferous regeneration of clearcuts in the south central interior of British Columbia. British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. Research Memo (FLNRORD). RM26
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
Keywords: FLNRORD, Research Memo, British Columbia
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