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Comparison of dry season forage availability in rotational and continuous grazing areas, July 2008, on a cattle ranch in the Aquidauana subregion of the southern Pantanal.  

Comparison of dry season forage availability in rotational and continuous grazing areas, July 2008, on a cattle ranch in the Aquidauana subregion of the southern Pantanal.  

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Deforestation and conversion of native habitats to exotic pasture and crops, plus inefficient agricultural and cattle management practices, are placing great pressures on natural resources in the Pantanal and Cerrado. To prevent further deforestation and protect biodiversity, areas already developed for farming and ranching need to be managed more...

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... was significantly greater in the rotational system throughout the year (March: t = 13.96, df = 13, P < 0.0001; August: t = 4.22, df = 13, P = 0.0010; May: t = 10.21, df = 13, P < 0.0001; October: t = 5.85, df = 13, P = 0.0001) (Fig. 2). Differences were especially large during the wet season, but continued through the dry season as well (Fig. 2). Fig. 3 shows the obvious difference in forage availability between the rotational and continuous grazing areas during the dry season of 2008. Cattle weights from January 2008 were not significantly different between the two groups of 2- to 3-year-old, non-pregnant animals that were placed in the rotational system and continuous- grazing ...
Context 2
... -1 used by Crispim et al. [4] vs. 0.36 -0.38 AU.ha -1 used in the continuous grazing areas of this study. Crispim et al. [4] recorded much higher quantities of forage dry mass compared to the continuously grazed areas of this study. The latter showed obvious signs of overgrazing and pasture degradation, e.g., the prevalence of bare soil patches (Fig. 3). Compared to the rotational system of this study, which had an even higher stocking rate (i.e., 0.43 AU.ha -1 ), Crispim et ...

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... Several studies have evaluated the chemical composition of native grasslands and reported that the potential and nutritional contents of indigenous plant species differin all seasons agro-climates (Angassa and Oba 2010;Geleti et al. 2012;Keba et al. 2013). Natural grazing lands are heterogeneous (Eaton et al. 2011). Its chemical constituents differ with environmental factors such as altitude, rainfall, soil type, cropping intensity, grazing land management and variation in the genetic characteristics inherent to specific individual plant species (Alemayehu 2003;Robles et al. 2008;Teka et al. 2012). ...
Article
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A study was conducted in Adola Reedde to identify major grass species and evaluate their chemical composition, in vitro digestibility, and dry matter yield. Sixty key informants taken from the sampled kebele of three agro-climates were interviewed to identify common grasses in their vernacular name. Relative feed value and dry matter digestibility were computed using neutral detergent fibre and acid detergent fibre contents. Spearman's rank correlation was used to examine relationships between laboratory results and farmers' perception of grass quality. Fifteen grass species were identified and ranked by farmers according to the species' preferences for cattle. Crude protein values ranged from 56.5 g/kg DM for lowland to 113 g/kg DM for highland agro-climate. overall mean of neutral detergent fibre was 662 g/kg DM, and in vitro dry matter digestibility and relative feed value were 446.5 g/kg DM and 60.97%, respectively. Total dry matter yield and dry matter of individual grass species were significantly (P < 0.001) higher in highland than in low land agro-climate. Dry matter yield across agro-climate ranged from 92.47 ± 0.04 g m−2-119.41 ± 0.07 g m−2 for highland and lowland agro-climate, respectively. Generally, study highlights the potential of herbaceous species to support livestock production if the grassland is properly rehabilitated and managed.
... In Brazil, almost 150 million hectares are used as pastures for cattle ranching (IBGE, 2019), mostly concentrated in biomes characterised by open ecosystems such as Pampa, Pantanal, Caatinga and Cerrado and, more recently, in the Amazon (ABIEC, 2019). Indeed, livestock production is the dominant economic land-use activity of the Pantanal (Eaton et al., 2017), where approximately 80% of the land is used for cattle ranching (Eaton et al., 2011), with the second-largest approximately US$ 10.35 billion (USDA, 2019). In this sense, the widespread use of antiparasitics, mostly macrocyclic lactones such as Ivermectin, has been employed in Brazil, often becoming a scenario of indiscriminate use of these veterinary medical products (VMPs) (Brito et al., 2019). ...
Article
The indiscriminate use of Ivermectin is becoming a frequent scenario in Brazil, one of the largest beef cattle herds in the world, and the second‐highest commercial production, despite this product having harmful effects on non‐target organisms. Among these organisms, dung beetles are essential for the maintenance of ecosystem functioning in introduced pastures. This study evaluated the effects of Ivermectin on dung beetle assemblage attributes (species richness, abundance, species composition, functional groups and indicator species) as well as their ecological functions (dung removal and soil bioturbation) in introduced pastures with different priorities for livestock intensification in Brazil; Amazon (high) and Pantanal (low). We found a negative response of dung beetle assemblages to Ivermectin in both Brazilian ecosystems, where these negative effects were more pronounced in the Pantanal. Tunneler beetles are the functional group most negatively affected in both ecosystems. Finally, the Ivermectin reduces the ecological functions performed by dung beetles, with a dung removal reduction of ca. 50% and 70% in the Amazon and Pantanal, respectively. The most negative impacts in the Brazilian Pantanal reflect the long‐term consequences due to a long history of Ivermectin use than in the Amazon. However, these results also indicate a drastic future for dung beetles in Amazonian pastures. Thus, a sustainable cattle production system reducing Ivermectin use will be important for conserving dung beetles on introduced Brazilian pastures and the ecological functions that these insects provide in livestock‐dominated landscapes. This study evaluated, for the first time, the effects of Ivermectin on dung beetle communities and their ecological functions in Brazil. Our results provide evidence that reducing Ivermectin use will be important for conserving dung beetles and the ecological functions that dung beetles provide in livestock‐dominated landscapes in Brazil.
... The Pantanal is considered the largest Neotropical seasonal freshwater wetland on Earth, with a vast area of grassland plains often used for extensive cattle ranching (Eaton et al. 2017). Therefore, livestock production has been the main economic activity in this ecosystem, where approximately 80% of the land is used as native and introduced pastures (Eaton et al. 2011). The regional climate is Aw (tropical hot-wet), with a rainy summer and dry winter according to the K€ oppen classification (Alvares et al. 2013). ...
Article
Livestock is a globally widespread farming practice, with benefits and harms for biodiversity. Biodiversity responses to vegetation and soil conditions associated with cattle grazing removal are poorly understood in tropical grassy ecosystems, especially in a long-term chronosequence. In this study, we aimed to identify the main drivers of local conditions on dung beetle taxonomic and functional diversity across a chronosequence of natural grasslands with different cattle grazing removal ages. We expect that vegetation and soil variables associated with environmental changes caused by longer time after cattle grazing removal will drive the taxonomic and functional diversity of dung beetles. We sampled dung beetles and recorded local environmental filters (vegeta-tion and soil variables) in 14 natural grasslands with distinct cattle grazing removal ages (from 3 months to 22 years) and also in 10 reference sites (with cattle grazing). We used structural equation models to evaluate the relationships between the most informative explanations (vegetation and soil variables) of dung beetle taxonomic and functional metrics. Our results provide evidences that local conditions related to vegetation and soil variables in natural grasslands affect the taxonomic and functional diversity of dung beetles differently. Soil conditions (compaction and silt content) had more influence, mostly negative, on taxonomic metrics, while vegetation complexity had more influence on functional metrics, with positive or negative effects depending on the functional metric evaluated. Understanding the temporal change in vegetation and soil conditions can shed light on the process of recovering biodiversity and ecosystem functions in areas with different times of abandonment of livestock farming. Finally, using taxonomic and functional approaches together can also help to better understand how organisms are responding to the process of abandoning livestock farming over time.
... In the specific case of Beef-cattle ranches in the Paraguayan Chaco, management practices and strategies to increase cattle-ranching productivity that are currently underused could be generalised. These included rotational grazing of native pastures (Eaton et al., 2011), crop rotation with nitrogen-fixing legumes (Glatzle et al., 2019;Latawiec et al., 2014), the use of improved high-yielding and drought-heat-tolerant forage varieties (Glatzle, 2004;Glatzle et al., 2019;Schnellmann et al., 2018), the adoption of soil conserving production practices, such as soil covering to prevent erosion, and the use of improved animal breeds and crossbreeding through artificial insemination (Ferraz & Felício, 2010). Also, the adoption of precision technologies and tools for more efficient use of irrigation water, pesticides and fertilisers could be very useful in this type of ranches to improve resource efficiency and, therefore, the sustainability of the Beef-cattle activity. ...
Article
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The Paraguayan Chaco has experienced, in the last few decades, some of the highest rates of deforestation in the world. In parallel, this region has registered an increase in the number of cattle heads of 60% in the last decade. Taking into account the high environmental and socioeconomic impact of this expansion, the aim of this work was to reveal how Beef–cattle ranching is carried out and to establish a typology that allows us to identify the different land-use patterns followed by the ranches. Data were collected using face-to-face structured interviews of 80 ranch owners. In the region ranches co-exist that practise the cow–calf system, the whole-cycle system and the fattening system. In all cases, ranches are very large, pasture based, highly specialised in Beef–cattle and export-oriented. Three groups of ranches were identified, being the main differentiating drivers: (i) the availability of the different production factors, (ii) the distribution of total area, and (iii) the degree of intensification in the use of capital, labour and/or technology per unit of agricultural area. In addition, it is noted that the years of activity of the ranches are related to these drivers. The typology of ranches contributes to a better understanding of one of the most active livestock frontiers in the world and shows that the expansion process taking place in the Paraguayan Chaco is associated with an intensification of Beef–cattle systems. These results provide a useful approach to develop policies that regulate the expansion of the cattle frontier in the Paraguayan Chaco.
... For example, several studies have demonstrated that conservational tillage, no-tillage (Carmo et al., 2012;Elder and Lal, 2008;Linn and Doran, 1984;Reinsch et al., 2018) and integrated crop-livestock systems (Carvalho et al., 2014(Carvalho et al., , 2010Grassmann et al., 2020) can mitigate gas emissions when compared with conventional systems that use soil tillage followed by fertilization. Other agronomic practices can also be adopted to enrich the soil's potential to act as carbon and nitrogen sink (Mosquera et al., 2012), such as the use of lime (Mazzetto et al., 2015), integrated nutrient management, phosphorus management (Soltangheisi et al., 2019;Withers et al., 2018), the use of more productive grass (Casas et al., 2019;Roscher et al., 2016), rotational grazing (Campbell et al., 2015;Eaton et al., 2011), mulching, and pasture improvement. Finally, avoiding generating hot moments for N 2 O emissions by adopting the best management practices and considering the environmental conditions is paramount. ...
Article
Brazilian beef production has been recognized as an important path to achieve environmental, social and economic sustainability, and to ensure food security. Although, traditionally, beef production in Brazil has relied on unmanaged pastures (i.e. extensive pasture), a growing demand for beef combined with increased competition for land to grow crops without increasing deforestation has led to the incremental conversion of pastures from unmanaged to intensive systems. To better understand the implications of changing pasture management on nitrogen availability and CO2 and N2O fluxes, a field experiment simulating the extensive-to-intensive pasture conversion was set up in São Paulo State, Brazil. Soil and gas samples were collected during two 6 months periods (October, 2013 to March, 2014 and December, 2014 to May, 2015) in an area of extensive pasture (EP), which served as a control, and also in two treatment areas where pasture intensification was simulated using practices typically adopted in the region. The treatment areas included conventionally tilled pasture without inorganic fertilizer (TP) and tilled pasture with inorganic fertilizer (IP). Environmental conditions and soil characteristics were also determined during the study period. The results clearly illustrated the impacts of commonly adopted pasture management systems in Brazil. Fluxes of CO2 and N2O fluxes increased with the application of fertilizer, with CO2 averaging about 4.1, 4.0 and 5.2 g m⁻² day⁻¹, and N2O fluxes averaging 0.2, 0.3 and 0.98 mg m⁻² day⁻¹ in EP, TP and IP, respectively. Despite equal rates of fertilizer application, differences in weather conditions and soil management resulted in different emission rates and dynamics for each pasture system type. Depending on the sampling period, emissions factors were 1.55% or 0.59%. The adoption of conservation management practices is vital to prevent “hot” moments of N2O emission arising from pasture intensification in Brazil.
... Riparian vegetation and small remnants could be further reduced in the near future (Soares-Filho et al., 2014), and these are important habitats for WLP (Keuroghlian and Eaton, 2008a) not located inside protected areas, representing 28% of the Brazilian territory suitable for WLP. Furthermore, applying sustainable agricultural production strategies that minimize forest reduction, such as rotation management systems for cattle and crop production -reducing area requirement and the impact on native trees (Eaton et al., 2011), encouragement for programs of payment for ecosystem services (Pearce, 2001), compliance of the forest code as a criteria for marketing, as well as the use of green certificates for exportation of rural products and reduction of meat consumption (Eisler et al., 2014), will be essential to decrease the impact of food production on white-lipped peccaries and other wild species (Phalan et al., 2011). ...
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Mammals are important components of biodiversity that have been drastically and rapidly impacted by climate change, habitat loss, and anthropogenic pressure. Understanding key species distribution to optimize conservation targets is both urgent and necessary to reverse the current biodiversity crisis. Herein, we applied habitat suitability models for a key Neotropical forest ungulate, the white-lipped peccary (WLP Tayassu pecari), to investigate the effects of climate and landscape modifications on its distribution, which has been drastically reduced in Brazil. We used 318 primary records of WLP to derive habitat suitability maps across Brazil. Our models included bioclimatic, topographic, landscape, and human influence predictors in two modelling approaches. Models including all categories of predictors obtained the highest predictive ability and showed prevalence of suitable areas in forested regions of the country, covering 49% of the Brazilian territory. Filtering out small forest fragments (
... One of the most commonly used practices in cattle production is rotational grazing management, which consists of different periods of grazing and abandonment. Continuous grazing management is also a widely used practice; however, the effects of integral occupation may harm regrowth of the forage (Eaton et al., 2011). ...
... As such, we show that in introduced Brazilian pastures a rotational grazing up to one month can maintain the same taxonomic and functional metrics of dung beetles acting on these pastures when both soil and grasses are recovering from cattle grazing and trampling. Thus, we suggest that one month of cattle removal to grazing rotational management in introduced Brazilian pastures may be a useful strategy to, besides conserving the grass of the pastures and the surrounding forest cover (Nichols et al., 2007;Numa et al., 2009;Eaton et al., 2011), also conserving dung beetle biodiversity Audino et al., 2014;Pecenka and Lundgren, 2019) and consequently the ecological functions performed by them. ...
Article
Pasture management techniques may affect the biodiversity of insects beneficial to pastures, such as dung beetles. Cattle grazing removal over a short-term is widely used in introduced Brazilian pastures. However, the impact of this management on dung beetles is still unknown. This study evaluated the taxonomic (species richness, abundance, biomass, species composition, Shannon, and Simpson indexes) and functional (functional richness FRic, functional dispersion FDis, functional evenness FEve, and community-weighted means of trait values CWMs) dung beetle assemblages response to cattle grazing removal over a short-in introduced pastures. We sampled dung beetles, with pitfall traps baited with cattle dung and carrion, simultaneously in pastures with constant cattle grazing (control), and one, three, and five months after cattle grazing removal in Aquidauana, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. Taxonomic metrics and FRic, FDis, and FEve did not differ among control and pasture treatments. We found that pastures with one month of cattle removal maintain the same CWM coprophagous diet from the control, and higher CWM biomass in relation to control. Although cattle grazing removal, at least over the short-term, does not cause a negative impact on dung beetle taxonomic metrics and functional diversity indexes, two important traits associated to dung removal are negatively affected after three months of cattle removal. Thus, we suggest that one month of cattle removal to grazing rotational management in introduced Brazilian pastures can be a useful strategy to, besides conserving the grass, also conserving dung beetle diversity, and consequently the ecological functions performed by them.
... Intensive grazing practices, short grazing periods, and high stocking rates have been proposed to improve ES provided by grazing areas (Eaton et al., 2011). Here, relatively higher springtime pasture production on RRG subplots may be explained by comparatively longer defoliated grass recovery periods after livestock disturbance. ...
Article
Full-text available
Increased traditional dairy sheep production in the Basque Country of northern Spain could substantially affect pasture soils. This type of agricultural land performs vital functions and provides essential ecosystem services. Regenerative farming practices such as rotational grazing with prolonged resting periods are designed to improve farmland soil health, while profitably delivering high-quality farm products. The aim of this study was to determine the mid-term effect of rotational grazing on soil ecosystem services and evaluate their synergies and trade-offs. A 4.5-ha experimental pasture was divided into two sections: one subjected to regenerative rotational grazing and the other to conventional rotational grazing. A flock of 135 Latxa breed dairy ewes was evenly distributed over the two areas during six consecutive years. On the conventional rotational grazing section, the sheep were allowed to feed for 6-10 d followed by a 15-d rest period. On the regenerative rotational grazing section, the sheep were allowed to feed for 1-2 d followed by a 24-d rest period. Vegetation and soil were then sampled according to a grid design. Springtime grass production was estimated by cutting the vegetation, topsoil carbon storage was determined through elemental analysis of soil organic carbon, nutrient cycling was calculated by measuring the activity of six enzymes (β-glucosidase, β-glucosaminidase, sulfatase, acid phosphatase, L-alanine aminopeptidase, and L-leucine aminopeptidase), water flow regulation was calculated using a simplified water retention index, and biodiversity was determined via 16S rRNA metabarcoding of soil prokaryotes. Regenerative rotational grazing achieved 30% higher springtime grass production and 3.6% higher topsoil carbon storage than conventional rotational grazing. The other parameters did not differ significantly between the grazing regimes. Regenerative rotational grazing reduced relative data dispersion for all ecosystem services, possibly because it supported comparatively homogeneous pasture use by livestock and avoided the negative consequences of overgrazing and undergrazing. Thus, regenerative rotational grazing might effectively improve certain soil ecosystem services without causing trade-offs to others.
... The vast extension of the grassland plains, allied with a favourable climate, promotes the extensive practice of cattle ranching in the Pantanal (Seidl et al. 2001). Over the last two centuries, livestock production has been the dominant economic land-use activity of the Pantanal (Seidl et al. 2001;Eaton et al. 2011), where approximately 80% of the lands are used as native and introduced pastures (Eaton et al. 2011). Furthermore, two welldefined ecohydrology cycles can be identified in the Pantanal: dry and rainy. ...
... The vast extension of the grassland plains, allied with a favourable climate, promotes the extensive practice of cattle ranching in the Pantanal (Seidl et al. 2001). Over the last two centuries, livestock production has been the dominant economic land-use activity of the Pantanal (Seidl et al. 2001;Eaton et al. 2011), where approximately 80% of the lands are used as native and introduced pastures (Eaton et al. 2011). Furthermore, two welldefined ecohydrology cycles can be identified in the Pantanal: dry and rainy. ...
Article
Anthropogenic activity, such as conversion and degradation of habitats, is causing global biodiversity declines. However, our understanding of how local ecological communities are responding to these changes taxonomically and functionally is still limited. The effects of the replacement of native by introduced pastures on biodiversity are some of those examples with limited understanding. Here, we sampled dung beetles in native and introduced pastures using standardised sampling protocols during the dry and rainy seasons in the Brazilian Pantanal. We used multifaceted β-diversity partitioning of taxonomy-, abundance- and trait-based approaches to evaluate spatial (i.e. between pasture types) and temporal (i.e. between seasons) patterns of dung beetle changes in composition, abundance and species traits. Spatially, we found no effects of pasture type, season and their interaction on taxonomy-based β-diversity and its components. For abundance-based β-diversity and its components, pasture type had effects on both Bray-Curtis dissimilarity and balanced variation in abundance. Higher values of both metrics were found in native pastures. For functional-based β-diversity, Sorensen dissimilarity with higher values in the dry season, while pasture type also had an effect on functional nestedness, where higher values of functional nestedness were found in introduced pastures. Seasonally, we also found no effects of pasture type, season and their interaction on taxonomy-based β-diversity and its components. However, pasture type had effects on Bray-Curtis dissimilarity, with higher values found in introduced pastures. No effects on balanced variation in abundance and abundance gradients were found. Pasture type influenced the functional turnover, but not functional dissimilarity or nestedness. Higher values of functional turnover were found in native pastures. In summary, we demonstrate that the type of pastures and climatic seasonality have effects on abundance- and functional- but not on taxonomy-based β-diversity patterns of dung beetles in the Brazilian Pantanal.
... The vast extension of the grassland plains, allied with a favourable climate, promotes the extensive practice of cattle ranching in the Pantanal (Seidl et al. 2001). Over the last two centuries, livestock production has been the dominant economic land-use activity of the Pantanal (Seidl et al. 2001;Eaton et al. 2011), where approximately 80% of the lands are used as native and introduced pastures (Eaton et al. 2011). Furthermore, two welldefined ecohydrology cycles can be identified in the Pantanal: dry and rainy. ...
... The vast extension of the grassland plains, allied with a favourable climate, promotes the extensive practice of cattle ranching in the Pantanal (Seidl et al. 2001). Over the last two centuries, livestock production has been the dominant economic land-use activity of the Pantanal (Seidl et al. 2001;Eaton et al. 2011), where approximately 80% of the lands are used as native and introduced pastures (Eaton et al. 2011). Furthermore, two welldefined ecohydrology cycles can be identified in the Pantanal: dry and rainy. ...
Article
Anthropogenic activity, such as conversion and degradation of habitats, is causing global biodiversity declines. However, our understanding of how local ecological communities are responding to these changes taxonomically and functionally is still limited. The effects of the replacement of native by introduced pastures on biodiversity are some of those examples with limited understanding. Here, we sampled dung beetles in native and introduced pastures using standardised sampling protocols during the dry and rainy seasons in the Brazilian Pantanal. We used multifaceted β-diversity partitioning of taxonomy-, abundance- and trait-based approaches to evaluate spatial (i.e. between pasture types) and temporal (i.e. between seasons) patterns of dung beetle changes in composition, abundance and species traits. Spatially, we found no effects of pasture type, season and their interaction on taxonomy-based β-diversity and its components. For abundance-based β-diversity and its components, pasture type had effects on both Bray-Curtis dissimilarity and balanced variation in abundance. Higher values of both metrics were found in native pastures. For functional-based β-diversity, Sorensen dissimilarity with higher values in the dry season, while pasture type also had an effect on functional nestedness, where higher values of functional nestedness were found in introduced pastures. Seasonally, we also found no effects of pasture type, season and their interaction on taxonomy-based β-diversity and its components. However, pasture type had effects on Bray-Curtis dissimilarity, with higher values found in introduced pastures. No effects on balanced variation in abundance and abundance gradients were found. Pasture type influenced the functional turnover, but not functional dissimilarity or nestedness. Higher values of functional turnover were found in native pastures. In summary, we demonstrate that the type of pastures and climatic seasonality have effects on abundance- and functional- but not on taxonomy-based β-diversity patterns of dung beetles in the Brazilian Pantanal.