Author

Paul A. Lucas

Date of Award:

1969

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department name when degree awarded

Range Science

Advisor/Chair:

A. D. Smith

Abstract

Aspen is the most widespread deciduous tree of the western United States and the aspen type is important for water, forage, and wood products. Aspen reproduction on cutover areas was thought to be hindered by browsing and other factors, therefore a study was conducted to determine the effects of livestock, pocket gophers, disease, and snowpack damage on aspen reproduction during the first three years after clear-cutting. An enclosure was constructed and divided into nine paddocks. Controlled grazing by cattle and sheep was applied to six different paddocks during three summer periods. Three paddocks were protected from grazing. Results show that sheep utilized more sprouts than cattle, but controlled grazing by sheep or cattle did not prevent adequate aspen regeneration on good sites. Pocket gophers and disease appeared to be the most important decimating factors under controlled grazing. Sheep tended to concentrate on cutover areas so proper herding is needed to prevent misuse, especially the first and second years after initial sprouting.

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