Nutrient removal by cattle from a shortgrass prairie.

Published online
01 Jan 1975
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Journal of Applied Ecology

Dean, R. & Ellis, J. E. & Rice, R. W. & Bement, R. E.

Publication language
USA & Colorado & Wyoming


Energy and N removal by cattle from a shortgrass prairie ecosystem [botanical composition not stated] in N. Colorado were determined. Grazing intensity did not greatly affect the percentages of those nutrients that were consumed in the diet which were retained in the animals' tissues and subsequently removed. The total amount of nutrients removed from the ecosystem increased with increased grazing intensity. Estimates of the percentage of nutrients consumed that were removed were 5.5 and 6.7% for energy on heavily- and lightly-grazed pastures, respectively, and 17.4 and 21.3% for N on heavily- and lightly-grazed pastures, respectively. Estimates are presented of the proportions of the consumed nutrients partitioned to the atmosphere and soil as a result of the various digestive and physiological processes in the ruminant.

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