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Aboveground plant mass and mass available to grazing goats in a mountainous shrubland in subtropical China
- Yiruhan, â, Xie, XinâMing, Shiyomi, Masae
- Grassland science 2011 v.57 no.3 pp. 119-126
- adults, cities, equations, feeds, forests, goat breeds, goats, grazing, herbaceous plants, leaves, local government, mountains, shrublands, shrubs, soil, surveys, tree and stand measurements, valleys, xylem, China
- Vegetation in the northwestern mountainous region of Guangdong Province, China is a mosaic of forests and shrubs. Shrubs in this area are evergreen with heights <2.5âm and have been left unused for at least 50 years. Recently, light grazing by a local breed of goats was started in a mountainous region near Lechang City under local government guidance. We conducted a survey over 4âyears to estimate plant mass as a feed resource for goats in a sharply undulating mountainous shrubland. Two permanent plots (50âÃâ50âm) were set in a 76âha site; shrubâdominated downward slopes and valleys (S plot), and a mountain ridge and an adjacent slope dominated by herbaceous species on slightly poorer soil (G plot). The plant mass, including herbaceous plants, and leaf and xylem parts of shrubs, which were determined through allometric equations based on measurements of breast height diameter of shrubs, was estimated at 15.9âtâdry matter (DM)âhaâ1 in the S plot and 7.7âtâDMâhaâ1 in the G plot. The total mass of herbaceous plants and shrub leaves, available to grazing goats, was estimated at 3.9 and 3.1âtâDMâhaâ1 in the S plot and G plot, respectively. We conclude that 4.9 adults and 2.4âkidsâhaâ1 can be stocked throughout a year on this mountainous shrubland.