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Title: Spatial variation in spoil and vegetative characteristics of pastures on reclaimed surface mined land

Kentucky has large areas of reclaimed surface mined land that could provide grazing for livestock. Research is needed to determine optimal stocking densities and to evaluate the sustainability of such grazing systems for this region. A long-term grazing study was initiated in 1997 on 151 ha of reclaimed land near Chavies, KY to determine spatial and temporal variation with stocking densities of 0, 0.28, 0.42, or 0.83 beef cow-calf units/ha. Global Positioning System and GIS technologies were used to establish pasture boundaries, locate permanent sampling markers at a density of 1 per 0.4 ha, and interpolate maps of physical, spoil, and vegetable pasture characteristics. Herbage and spoil samples were collected around the permanent markers in May of 1997. Stepwise regression was used to determine factors affecting the vegetative characteristics of the sites. Biomass density ranged from 0 to 2500 kg/ha with a mean of 570 kg/ha. Factors affecting biomass included legume and weed proportions in the sward, grazing activity, soil potassium, elevation, and potential acidity, cumulatively accounting for 32% of the variation. Ground cover ranged from 10 to 100% with an average of 74%. Soil pH, potassium, and grass in the sward accounted for 14% of the variation in groundmore » cover. Legumes made up 0 to 61% of the sward with a mean of 13% over the pasture area. Variables affecting the amount of legume in the sward included biomass density, slope, elevation, pH, and stocking density, together accounting for 21% of the variation. Spatial variation in the physical, spoil, and vegetative characteristics of the pastures was large. Overall, regression accounted for a limited amount of the variation in the vegetative characteristics of the site indicating that other important variables exist.« less
Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20023323
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 16th Annual National Meeting of the American Society for Surface Mining and Reclamation, Scottsdale, AZ (US), 08/13/1999--08/19/1999; Other Information: PBD: [1999]; Related Information: In: Mining and reclamation for the next millennium. Proceedings of the 16th annual national meeting of the American Society for Surface Mining and Reclamation, by Bengson, S.A.; Bland, D.M. [eds.], 745 pages.
Publisher:
American Society for Surface Mining and Reclamation, Princeton, WV (US)
Research Org:
Univ. of Kentucky, Lexington, KY (US)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
01 COAL, LIGNITE, AND PEAT; KENTUCKY; SURFACE MINING; COAL MINING; LAND RECLAMATION; PASTURES; CATTLE; POPULATION DENSITY; GROUND COVER; INVENTORIES