Short-term Response of Vegetation to Cattle Grazing in an Abandoned Orchard in Southwestern Japan

  • Hayashi, K. (Kuju Agricultural Research Center, Kyushu University) ;
  • Ikeda, K. (Kuju Agricultural Research Center, Kyushu University) ;
  • Ueda, A. (Division of Bioresource and Bioenvironmental Science, Kyushu University) ;
  • Fumita, T. (Kuju Agricultural Research Center, Kyushu University) ;
  • Etoh, T. (Kuju Agricultural Research Center, Kyushu University) ;
  • Gotoh, T. (Kuju Agricultural Research Center, Kyushu University)
  • Received : 2005.07.05
  • Accepted : 2005.10.24
  • Published : 2006.04.01


An abandoned mandarin orange orchard in southwestern Japan was set-stocked by Japanese Black cows at two stocking rates (1.0 and 2.0 animals/ha), and vegetation dynamics and diet selection by cattle were monitored for two years, in an effort to obtain information on effective use of abandoned agricultural fields for low-cost animal production and environmental conservation. Two dominant species at the commencement of grazing, kudzu (Pueraria lobata Ohwi) and tall goldenrod (Solidago altissima L.), showed different responses to grazing during the two years; the composition of kudzu decreased, contrasting with that of tall goldenrod which increased at both stocking rates. This was caused by high preference for kudzu and avoidance or low preference for tall goldenrod by cattle. Retrogression of vegetation due to cattle disturbances occurred at both stocking rates, with the high stocking rate leading to a lower degree of succession than the low stocking rate. It was shown that cattle grazing, particularly at a high stocking rate, was effective in the management of vegetation of an abandoned orchard.


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