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Soil Properties and Plant Biomass Production in Natural Rangeland Management Systems

By Romeu de Souza Werner, Fabrício Tondello Barbosa, Ildegardis Bertol, Neuro Hilton Wolshick, Kristiana Fiorentin dos Santos and Josie Moraes Mota


ABSTRACT Improper management of rangelands can cause land degradation and reduce the economic efficiency of livestock activity. The aim of this study was to evaluate soil properties and quantify plant biomass production in four natural rangeland management systems in the Santa Catarina Plateau (Planalto Catarinense) of Brazil. The treatments, which included mowed natural rangeland (NR), burned natural rangeland (BR), natural rangeland improved through the introduction of plant species after harrowing (IH), and natural rangeland improved through the introduction of plant species after chisel plowing (IC), were evaluated in a Nitossolo Bruno (Nitisol). In the improved treatments, soil acidity was corrected, phosphate fertilizer was applied, and intercropped annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum), velvet grass (Holcus lanatus), and white clover (Trifolium repens) were sown. Management systems with harrowed or chisel plowed soil showed improved soil physical properties; however, the effect decreased over time and values approached those of burned and mowed natural rangelands. Natural rangeland systems in the establishment phase had little influence on soil organic C. The mowed natural rangeland and improved natural rangeland exhibited greater production of grazing material, while burning the field decreased production and increased the proportion of weeds. Improvement of the natural rangelands increased leguminous biomass for pasture

Topics: natural rangeland improvement, forage production, weeds
Publisher: Sociedade Brasileira de Ciência do Solo
Year: 2016
DOI identifier: 10.1590/18069657rbcs20150117
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