Seasonal change and distribution of grass nutritive values and minerals in an open pasture surrounded by forest

Yu Yoshihara, Shusuke Sato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The forage quality of pasture species is spatially heterogeneous. In this study, we evaluated the dynamics and spatial structure of forage quality and attempted to relate the observed variation to differences in light availability and soil properties. We compared grass forage quality in open grasslands with forest edge environments and established plots in open Japanese grasslands surrounded by secondary forests. We sampled Anthoxanthum odoratum L. and soil from each plot in May and September. These samples were analyzed to determine the crude protein (CP), neutral detergent fiber, and mineral concentrations. We calculated Moran's I coefficients across discrete lag distance classes to construct autocorrelograms. The CP model showed a non-random pattern in May at a lag distance of 40 m, but a clustered pattern in September at a small scale. The mineral models produced similar clustered spatial patterns. We found no strong correlation between aboveground (plant) and belowground (soil) mineral contents. CP and some mineral element concentrations in the plants collected in September were significantly greater at the forest edge than in open grasslands. The forest edge therefore appears to be a valuable place to provide grazing animals with adequate protein and mineral intake during the later part of the growing season.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)901-907
Number of pages7
JournalAgroforestry Systems
Volume87
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Aug 1

Keywords

  • Forest edge
  • Japanese pastures
  • Open grassland
  • Spatial structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Forestry

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