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Soil ingestion by ungulates grazing a sagebrush-bunchgrass range in Eastern Oregon

Sneva, Forrest A. and Mayland, H.F. and Vavra, M. (1983) Soil ingestion by ungulates grazing a sagebrush-bunchgrass range in Eastern Oregon. Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station Special Report No. 682. Oregon State University, Corvallis. 48 pp.


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Ingested soil by the grazing animal not only contributes to the wear of the animal's teeth, but may also be a source of dietary minerals. Thus, an estimate of soil intake is a necessary factor in the determination of the amount of minerals entering the animal via the soil. Titanium (Ti), a rare earth element, is relatively abundant in soils, but is found only in small quantities (1 part per million) in plants not contaminated with soil (Healy, 1968). Thus, its presence in the feces of grazing animals is a reflection of: (1) eating soil-contaminated forage; (2) ingesting soil directly; (3) drinking soil-contaminated water. Mayland et al. (1975) investigated the Ti method in Idaho and found it useful for estimating soil ingestion by cattle grazing a semiarid range. Recently, Mayland and Sneva (in press) discuss the Ti method's usefulness to range investigations. This paper presents Ti values determined in the soil and in feces of five ungulates grazing a sagebrush-bunchgrass range over a two-year period. From those findings the annual mean soil intake per ungulate was estimated and discussed relative to the variability in the data.

Item Type: Technical Bulletin
NWISRL Publication Number: 0663
Subjects: Irrigated crops > Grass forage
Mass Import - autoclassified (may be erroneous)
Depositing User: Dan Stieneke
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2010 21:57
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2016 16:29
Item ID: 1122

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