Great Basin Naturalist


Cover and species richness of vascular and cryptogamic components of the plant community were inventoried in experimental grazing paddocks at the USDA/FS Desert Range Experimental Station, Millard County, Utah. The grazing treatments considered have been applied continuously for over 50 years. The effects of heavy (ca 17 sheep days/acre) grazing treatment applied in two different seasons (early winter versus a split between early and late winter) differed significantly between seasons. Cryptogamic cover and cryptogamic species richness both showed larger decreases under early-late as opposed to early winter only grazing. Vascular plant cover (relative to controls) was also reduced by early-late winter grazing, but not to a significant degree. Late season grazing, likewise, had no significant effect on number of vascular species per transect.