Melvin R George

Melvin R George
University of California, Davis | UCD · Department of Plant Sciences

Doctor of Philosophy

About

94
Publications
13,273
Reads
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1,152
Citations
Citations since 2017
9 Research Items
324 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230102030405060
20172018201920202021202220230102030405060
Additional affiliations
December 1978 - February 2021
University of California, Davis
Position
  • Professor Emeritus

Publications

Publications (94)
Chapter
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Describes seasonality, life cycles, plant growth, morphology, development, and plant physiology of annual and perennial plants in California rangelands.
Chapter
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Description of vegetation types and ecosystem services associated with California's annual rangelands.
Chapter
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Describes the climate of California's annual rangelands and its effect on vegetation.
Article
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Conclusions The evaluations of Spanish subclover and early-maturing Australian cultivars in both San Luis Obispo and San Diego counties in southern California indicate that subclover can be grown in this difficult region. The impressive showing of four of the five Spanish introductions over the best Australian performer, Geraldton, has encouraged u...
Article
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To identify and characterize plant communities in California oak woodlands we sampled 455 100-m transects, both in the Coast Range (CR) and the Sierra Nevada Foothills (SNF). Sampling points were established at 5-m intervals. Woody and herbaceous species were used to analyze vegetation structure and diversity. Of the 455 transects 257 included wood...
Article
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Spatio-temporal patterns of cattle grazing were studied in four annual grassland pastures in California, differing mainly in tree canopy cover. Cows were equipped with global positioning collars that recorded position, temperature and head movements at 5-min intervals during 6 days in each of four seasons repeated during 2 years. The time animals t...
Article
On the Ground The Agricultural Extension Service at the University of California (UC) was established in Humboldt County in 1913 preceding the nationwide establishment of the extension service in 1914. Improving rangelands by controlling weeds and brush, seeding, fertilization, and grazing management has been a continuing theme of research by UC si...
Article
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In a previous article, Beschta et al. (Environ Manag 51(2):474-491, 2013) argue that grazing by large ungulates (both native and domestic) should be eliminated or greatly reduced on western public lands to reduce potential climate change impacts. The authors did not present a balanced synthesis of the scientific literature, and their publication is...
Article
M aintaining purple needlegrass populations re-quires informed grazing management but defoliation or grazing effects on native peren-nial grasses in California's annual-dominated rangelands have received little attention because they were not the dominant or key species for management. These native pe-rennial grasses begin vegetative growth in the...
Article
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The San Francisco Bay Area in California, USA is a highly heterogeneous region in climate, topography, and habitats, as well as in its political and economic interests. Successful conservation strategies must consider various current and future competing demands for the land, and should pay special attention to livestock grazing, the dominant non-u...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods A recent publication in rangeland ecology literature identify four rotational grazing strategies. Each is purported to increase economic returns to ranchers while improving environmental quality compared to continuous grazing. However, there is little experimental evidence that rotation offers any added production valu...
Article
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Long-term residual dry matter mapping on the San Joaquin Experimental Range provides a working example of this monitoring technique for grazing management and research. Residual dry matter (RDM) is the amount of old plant material left on the ground at the beginning of a new growing season. RDM indicates the previous season's use and can be used to...
Article
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A study was initiated during summer 1994 to evaluate the effect of season and intensity of grazing on erosion along intermittent streams at the San Joaquin Experimental Range. Five treatments (no grazing, dry season moderate, dry season heavy, wet season moderate, and wet season heavy) were applied on three different streams. Change in channel cros...
Article
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From 1994 to 1998 we documented sediment transport dynamics and sources in a 137 ha grazed hardwood rangeland watershed on granitic soils at the San Joaquin Experimental Range in Madera County. Sediment transport for this watershed was determined by measuring total suspended solids, bedload and flow at an H-flume installed in 1994. Sediment movemen...
Article
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While the goal of this water quality education program was to help the owners and managers of range livestock operations to understand clean water issues and policies so that they could identify and assess pollution sources on the land they owned or managed, it has had numerous other benefi ts. Besides changing ranch practices, ranchers engaged the...
Conference Paper
California's annual rangelands cover approximately 6.4 million hectares, and produce 70% of the state's forage base. This ecosystem supports more than 300 vertebrate, 5000 invertebrate, and 2000 plant species. Annual rangeland soils have the capacity to support high primary productivity and accumulate significant belowground organic matter. Additio...
Article
Various changes have been proposed to the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), administered by USDA Farm Services Agency (FSA) that would make it more compatible with USDA conservation programs. Meteorological drought is usually defined on the basis of the degree of dryness compared to some normal or average amount and the duration of...
Article
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This study compared soil surface bulk density between: 1) sites not grazed by cattle > 26 years; 2) sites not grazed for 6 years; 3) sites grazed for 15 years to October residual dry matter levels of > $1100\ {\rm kg}\ {\rm ha}^{-1}$; 4) sites grazed for 15 years to October residual dry matter levels of 670 to $900\ {\rm kg}\ {\rm ha}^{-1}$; 5) sit...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods To identify and characterize the plant communities on California hardwood rangelands, and to determine if those communities are random sets of species or distinguishable vegetation associations, we sampled 455 100-m transects in the Coast Range and Sierra Nevada Foothills during 2004 and 2005. Sampling points were e...
Article
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Western juniper has been actively invading sagebrush plant communities for about 130 yr. Western juniper canopy cover generally increases as western juniper invades sagebrush steppe communities and succession progresses toward a western juniper woodland. Our goal was to estimate the impact of juniper invasion and canopy increase on understory veget...
Article
Medusahead is among the most invasive grasses in the western United States. Selective control of this noxious winter annual grass is difficult in California grasslands, as many other desirable annual grasses and both native and nonnative broadleaf forbs are also important components of the rangeland system. Intensive grazing management using sheep...
Article
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Assessments of conservation effects are being conducted to determine the effectiven ess of agricultural conservation practices. The practice of nutrient supplement placement to improve livestock distribution has not been designated a "best management practice" by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).Three studies in California vis...
Article
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Excerpt Reducing the impact of grazing livestock on water quality, aquatic and riparian habitat, and biodiversity is a continuing goal for livestock producers, natural resource managers, and conservation groups. Environmental impacts of grazing livestock are frequently the result of poor livestock distribution. Management practices that alter lives...
Article
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Based on published research and watershed assessment techniques, we evaluated the feasibility of augmenting water yields in the Klamath River and its major tributaries by removing western juniper, which has expanded dramatically within the Klamath River Basin over the past 130 years. The results suggest that the conversion of western juniper woodla...
Article
A series of 6 daylight observations was made each summer and again each winter over 2 years to map cattle distribution on a California foothill pasture. Sixty animals were used in the study with no animals appearing in > 1 observation series. During daylight hours, small herds of cows containing between 14 and 16 animals were scan-sampled and video...
Article
We compared calibration equations for estimating herbage standing crop (HSC) from comparative yield (CY) rank or stubble height (SH) to determine 1) if CY rank is a better estimator than SH of standing crop, 2) if addition of SH to CY rank will improve the estimation of standing crop, 3) if there is a seasonal effect on CY rank or SH, and 4) if bot...
Article
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We compared calibration equations for estimating herbage standing crop (HSC) from comparative yield (CY) rank or stubble height (SH) to determine 1) if CY rank is a better estimator than SH of standing crop, 2) if addition of SH to CY rank will improve the estimation of standing crop, 3) if there is a seasonal effect on CY rank or SH, and 4) if bot...
Article
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Livestock grazing remains a common practice on California's hardwood rangelands. This can create problems for oak regeneration because grazing has been identified as one of the factors limiting the establishment of certain oak species. Previous research, as well as recent studies at the UC Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center, suggests tha...
Article
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Livestock grazing remains a common practice on California's hardwood rangelands. This can create problems for oak regeneration because grazing has been identified as one of the factors limiting the establishment of certain oak species. Previous research, as well as recent studies at the UC Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center, suggests tha...
Article
The University of California Cooperative Extension surveyed rangeland owners and managers who attended California's Ranch Water Quality Planning (RWQP) Short Course in 1995-2002. The survey evaluated the effectiveness of this industry-supported voluntary program by evaluating indicators for short course impacts, including 1) rancher participation i...
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We conducted a 5-year study on the impact of grazing on stream-channel bare ground and erosion, and a 3-year study of cattle-trail erosion on intermittent stream channels draining grazed oak-woodland watersheds. While the concentration of cattle along stream banks during the dry season resulted in a significant increase in bare ground, we were unab...
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The objective of this study was to identify and model environmental and management factors associated with cattle feces deposition patterns across annual rangeland watersheds in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Daily cattle fecal load accumulation rates were calculated from seasonal fecal loads measured biannually on 40 m(2) permanent transects distrib...
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Alteration of stream channel morphology by cattle and associated streambank erosion is a concern on rangeland watersheds. The objective of this study was to determine changes in stream channel morphology in response to 5 grazing treatments applied to 0.4 ha pastures and replicated on 3 intermittent streams at the San Joaquin Experimental Range in t...
Article
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In this study livestock distribution on the landscape was mapped during two seasons, summer and winter, for two years to determine where livestock congregate and to model factors that influence livestock distribution. Two small herds of cows were observed in separate range units on the San Joaquin Experimental Range for a total of twenty-four 24-ho...
Article
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California' s foothill rangelands make up the primary forage source for the state' s range livestock industry (FRRAP 1988). Forage productivity in California' s annual range-lands varies greatly from season to season and from year to year. While predicting the productivity of these annual rangelands has been an elusive research objective, analysis...
Technical Report
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Range beef cow nutrition programs are greatly influenced by the changing nutritional needs of a cow as it progresses through the reproductive calendar and seasonal changes in the quality of rangeland forage. Matching the nutrient demands of range beef cows and the nutrients supplied by rangeland forage is a balancing act for a considerable portion...
Technical Report
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Most ranchers and range management professionals are aware that forage plants decline in nutritional value as they advance in maturity. The relationship of nutritional value and stage of maturity has been reviewed for range plants by Kilcher (1981) and for forage crops by Fick et al. (1994). During the first Range Nutrition Short Course conducted b...
Article
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Water quality contamination by pathogens and nutrients from cattle fecal deposits is a concern on rangeland watersheds. The temporal and spatial deposition of fecal material relative to storm events and water-bodies determines much of the risk a grazing scheme presents to water quality. The objective of this study was to develop and evaluate a comp...
Article
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Cryptosporidium parvum is a fecal borne protozoan parasite that can be carried by and cause gastrointestinal illness in humans, cattle, and wildlife. The illness, cryptosporidiosis, can be fatal to persons with compromised immune systems. At question is the potential for C. parvum in cattle fecal deposits on rangeland watersheds to contaminate surf...
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We present a method for computerizing the transition rules of a state-and-transition model and then linking this model to a geographic information system. The resulting simulation characterizes rangeland vegetation dynamics in space and time. The method makes use of an expert system, a computer program that forms logical chains of transition rules....
Article
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A key was used to classify articles about livestock influences on riparian zones and fish habitat into 3 classes: papers that con- tained original data, those that were commentary, and reports about methodology such as classification systems, policies, and monitoring criteria. Four hundred and twenty-eight of the total articles were directly relate...
Article
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Since 1988, University of California Cooperative Estension short courses have been offered to 362 California ranchers and interested participants. The purpose was to assist private rangeland owners and managers in planning ranch goals, monitoring ranch operations, and establishing economically feasible and ecologically sustainable grazing managemen...
Article
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Cool-season grasses are biologically and economically important constituents of many rangeland ecosystems. In some ecosystems they were significant components of the original vegetation; in others they have invaded or increased because of changes in grazing, frequency of fire or other factors. Therefore it will not be possible to pontificate upon t...
Article
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"This report reviews the literature that compares management practices--both replicated and unreplicated comparisons. Many of the practices that are used to manage livestock have been learned by trial and error, or evaluated only by common sense; others have been the subject of extensive research or case studies. All have been found to work somewhe...
Article
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This article traces the recent developments in agricultural management, arising since Albania's move away from an isolationist position in 1991. By 1992 approximately 80% of Albania's farmland had been privatised. The article considers the impacts of cropland privatisation on productivity and landholding structures. Land and vegetation resources ar...
Article
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Livestock grazing in late spring and early summer resulted in large reductions of yellow starthis tle, Ce n ta u rea so Is t i-tialis, on infested annual grasslands. Grazing in the bolting stage before spines developed reduced starthistle's canopy size, seed production and thatch accumulation and enhanced native plant diversity. Properly timed graz...
Conference Paper
A monitoring and forecasting system is needed for bioregional planning, natural resource policy analysis and management strategy testing in California. The advantages of qualitative, rule-based models, and a state-transition paradigm to build ecosystem models are discussed. An intelligent geographic information system to model the effects of fire,...
Article
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Feed planning enables ranchers to use feed resources efficiently and increase profits. Feed budgeting requires estimates of expected daily growth rate (DGR) of pasture. The purpose of this study was to estimate DGR and determine if weather variables and herbage mass could be used to predict DGR for an irrigated pasture dominated by tall fescue (Fes...
Article
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The state and transition model and the ball and cup analogy are used to organize the vegetation dynamics knowledge base for California's annual-dominated Mediterranean grasslands. These models help identify irreversible transitions and alternate stable states. Mechanisms that facilitate movement between successional stable states are categorized as...
Article
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Spring and summer grazing tended to be most damaging and resulted in the lowest Quercus douglasii survival rates. Within each season total damage increased with stock density but survival did not change significantly. Weed control around oak seedlings had no apparent effect on total damage or survival. There were significant differences in browsing...
Article
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North American prairie grasses were most productive in a comparative study of irrigated warm-and cool-season grasses. The high yield and later peak in production of warm-season grasses make them ideal for increasing the productivity of irrigated pastures in California. All grasses in the study survived reduced irrigation. Grazing cattle preferred d...
Article
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Traditionally, little control is exerted over grazing on irrigated pasture. Today, however, with controlled grazing and feed budgeting, the pasture manager can use grazing stock to control forage levels, and forage levels can be used to control animal performance. Pasture budgeting can be applied to California's irrigated pastures when estimates of...
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2 Abstract: Annual rangelands produce 84 percent of California's range forage which are used all year by sedentary ranching operations and seasonally by migratory operations. Environ­ mental policy, energy and water costs may reduce traditional summer forage sources, resulting in increased grazing pressure on hardwood and annual rangelands. However...
Article
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Two-year results showed similar responses to two levels of pasture accumulation-grazing utilization management. Orchardgrass height and capacitance probe readings were both useful in monitoring forage availability, but stocking rate predictions using grass height were less variable and change in grass height during grazing was more closely related...
Article
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In two range feeding trials to evaluate supplemental nitrogen and/or bypass protein source and stocking densities, calves at a low density gained more weight than high-density groups. Dollar return during the supplementation phase, however, was highest from high-density groups fed a combination of urea and corn gluten meal.
Article
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Wide yearly fluctuations in peak standing crop on California annual-type range are largely explained by temperature and precipitation patterns. The objective of this study is to improve the predictability of functions relating weather patterns and peak standing crop by including degree-days, dry periods, evaporation, season start dates, and lengths...
Article
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A 3-yr field experiment evaluated average daily (ADG) and total seasonal (LG) weight gains of growing beef cattle (Bos taunts) on fertilized California foothill annual range. Soils were a mixture of four series of alfisols. Nitrogen was applied alone at 45 or 90 kg ha⁻¹, P and S were applied together at 34P 37S or 67P 74S kg ha⁻¹, and the two N rat...
Article
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On California's winter annual rangelands precipitation controls the beginning and end of the growing season while temperature largely controls seasonal growth rates within the growing season. Post-germination accumulated degree-days (ADD) account for the length of the growing season and variation of daily temperature. Simple correlations of ADD and...