The main objective of this study was to examine the long-term effects of cattle grazing and forage seeding on the growth and survival of planted lodgepole pine. The treatments examined were no seeding versus forage seeding at 3 kg/ha, and no cattle grazing versus cattle grazing at 50% forage use. Sampling started in 1988, the same year that trees were planted. The final sampling was completed during July–August 2012 and provided information at stand age 25 years. Despite some early damage and mortality of planted lodgepole pine seedlings, target tree densities were achieved on all grazed and seeded areas at the free-growing stage, and there was no loss of lodgepole pine growth compared to control stands after 24 years. Lodgepole pine showed greater tree diameter growth on seeded areas than on unseeded areas at stand age 25. A secondary objective was to determine the long-term effects of seeded forage species on the understorey plant community. Seeded forage species provided 5–6 years of high-quality forage production, followed by rapid decreases in abundance to the point where they formed only minor components of the understorey plant community. The understorey plant community composition was altered by the seeding treatment but not because of the persistence of the seeded species. A long-term reduction in shrubs was one of the main changes observed in seeded plant communities. We were able to successfully demonstrate the integration of enhanced forage production within regenerating lodgepole pine plantations in the Montane Spruce zone to the benefit of the forestry and livestock sectors.
Newman, Reg F., Wallace, Brian M.; Folkard, Percy;
and Wikeem, Brian M.. 2022. Forage Seeding and Cattle Grazing Long-term Effects on Conifer Regeneration and the Understorey Plant Community in the Montane Spruce Zone (EP1073). MoF. Technical Report (FLNRORD). TR139
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
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