Periodic rest from grazing provided no control of an invasive perennial forb

J. N. Price, R. D. B. Whalley, R. D. Van Klinken, J. A. Duggin, C. L. Gross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined if one grazing strategy (namely seasonal rest) was effective in the control of the invasive forb Phyla canescens (Kunth) Greene (hereafter lippia). We examined if rest from grazing could increase the competitiveness of native palatable species by allowing time to recover from defoliation, thereby altering competitive interactions between native species and lippia. In a field trial, we manipulated cattle grazing to determine its effects on the biomass of lippia and native species. We compared rest from grazing at different times of the year with year-long grazing (low intensity continuous and high intensity short duration) and no grazing (permanently excluding large grazing animals). Experimental plots were stratified into different hydrological areas (approximately annual flooding and flooded less than once every 5 years) to include flood dynamics in the management scenarios. We detected no negative impacts of seasonal rest on lippia, but some positive effects on native species. We found that complete exclusion from grazing in areas that already have substantial lippia invasion (and no flooding) may actually favour the expansion of lippia (at certain times). This study does not suggest that grazing management cannot be used as a tool for lippia control – simply that seasonal resting had no effect over a 3-year period. This is likely due to the dynamics of a boom-and-bust landscape in which if the abiotic conditions are not suitable for growth, then native species will not grow whether grazed or rested.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-298
Number of pages12
JournalRangeland Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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