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The changing role of shrubs in rangeland-based production systems: Can shrubs increase our forage supply?
- Richard E. Estell, Kris M. Havstad, Andres F. Cibils, Dean M. Anderson, T. Scott Schrader
- Rangelands 2014 v.36 no.2 pp. 25-31
- byproducts, ecosystems, forage, grasslands, grazing, livestock, livestock and meat industry, range management, rangelands, shrubs, vegetation cover, woody plants
- Projected global increases in ruminant numbers and loss of native grasslands will present a number of challenges for livestock agriculture. Escalated demand for livestock products may stimulate interest in using shrubs on western rangelands. A paradigm shift is needed to change the role of shrubs in rangeland ecosystems. Progress has occurred in identifying mechanisms to increase shrub use, but more solutions are needed to convert woody plants into red meat. Strategies for increasing shrub use could be important for rural communities to adapt to changing climate and shrub cover and for the livestock industry to adapt to predicted growth.