Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



Published in Botanical Gazette, Vol. 114, No. 4 (Jun., 1953), pp. 397-416. Copyright 1953 The University of Chicago Press. Used by permission.


The vegetation of great areas of Mixed Prairie has been destroyed by plowing. But even larger ones, still intact, have degenerated far from a climax condition. The almost universal cause for such deterioration, aside from drought, is grazing. The objective of this study has been to ascertain the changes in vegetation that have resulted from 60-70 years of different intensities of grazing by cattle and to express them quantitatively. Since the early work of SAMPSON (7) it has been generally recognized that the forage value and carrying capacity are highest where the vegetation represents a stage close to the herbaceous climax and that they are lowest in the type most remote from the climax.