Alpine grazing: does it reduce blazing?

Van Rees H., Holmes J.H.G. (1986) The Botanical Composition of the Diet of Free-Ranging Cattle on the Alpine Range in Australia. Journal of Range Management 39, 392–395.

Aim: 
To define quantitatively the diet of cattle in the 3 most common alpine vegetation communities, and to relate the composition of the diet to the availability of plant species in the field (pp. 392).
Type of Study: 
Natural history/ manipulative experiment
Key Results: 
The steers primarily selected 4 grass species, 3 sedges and 1 rush, 6 forbs and 3 shrub species…. The main species identified in the diet which should be used as indicator species of range condition are: alpine star bush… snow daisy… alpine grevillea…scaly buttons... and soft snow grass (pp. 392).
Treatments: 
Oesophageal extrusa samples were collected from the steers approximately every third morning during a 3-month grazing season. Steers located in 1 of 4 areas, each area contained 3 sites/vegetation types (grassland, heathland and mossbeds).
Models: 
Frequentist (P values): multi-way ANOVA.
Comments: 
Use of oesophogeal fistulas to determine diet of free range cattle in alpine environment.
Reviewer: 
Imogen Fraser; Dick Williams
Locations: 
Bogong High Plains, Australian Alpine National Park, Victoria, Australia
Response variable : 
Botanical composition of the oesophageal extrusa samples; vegetation cover and composition.
Replication: 
177 extrusa samples collected on 41 collection days from 5 steers; vegetation assessed in 3 quadrats per site (5 x 4 m).
Ecosystem: 
Alpine grassland, heathland and mossbeds.
Full Reference: 
Van Rees H., Holmes J.H.G. (1986) The Botanical Composition of the Diet of Free-Ranging Cattle on the Alpine Range in Australia. Journal of Range Management 39, 392–395.