Alpine grazing: does it reduce blazing?

van Rees H. (1982) The diet of free-ranging cattle on the Bogong High Plains, Victoria. Australian Rangeland Journal 4, 29–33.

Aim: 
To determine the species composition of the diet of free-ranging cattle... to estimate the most important components of the diet… (and) to determine the digestibility and nitrogen content of plants regularly grazed by cattle (pp. 29).
Type of Study: 
Natural history/natural experiment
Key Results: 
Cattle were seen to eat 26 species of plants, while only 19 species were identified from microscopic examination of cattle faeces. A further 28 species examined in the field showed signs of grazing...Common Poa australis spp. agg. tussocks were of low digestibility and nigrogen content (pp. 29).
Treatments: 
N.A.
Models: 
N.A.
Comments: 
Experimental determination of selective grazing by cattle of alpine flora. Cattle prefer the snowgrasses and alpine forbs, and avoid the taller shrubs.
Reviewer: 
Imogen Fraser; Dick Williams
Locations: 
Bogong High Plains, Australian Alpine National Park, Victoria, Australia
Response variable : 
Number of plant species grazed by cattle and cover abundance of each, presence/absence of species in cow pat, nitrogen content (dry matter basis), in vitro organic matter digestibility.
Replication: 
ca. 20 cow pats analysed from 10 cows; digestibility analysed in 2 sampless of 16 plant species; nitrogen content analysed in 9 plant species.
Ecosystem: 
Alpine grassland, open heathland and closed heathland.
Full Reference: 
van Rees H. (1982) The diet of free-ranging cattle on the Bogong High Plains, Victoria. Australian Rangeland Journal 4, 29–33.