The University of Arizona

Forage yield and white-tailed deer diets following live oak control.

T.E. Fulbright, A. Garza

Abstract


Live oak (Quercus virginiana Mill.) competes with herbaceous plants, but provides browse and mast for white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus Zimmerman). We determined the effects of treating live oak with tebuthiuron on yield of herbaceous vegetation and white-tailed deer diets and nutritional indices. In 1982, 259 ha were aerially treated with 2.2 kg/ha active ingredient of tebuthiuron pellets in parallel, alternating treated and untreated strips, each measuring 76 m wide. A second area was treated in 1984. We clipped herbage during June and November 1985-86 within exclosures in treated and untreated strips, and determined chemical and botanical composition of rumen contents and kidney fat index (KFI) from deer killed in the 1982 strip treatment area and a control (untreated) area. Grass yield was 2-4 times higher on treated thin on untreated range. Forb yield was almost 5 times greater on range treated in 1982 than on untreated range, but yield on untreated range and areas treated in 1984 was similar. Deer sampled in the control ares had consumed more forbs than those sampled in the herbicide-stripped area except in fall 1985. The KFI was greater for deer sampled in the control area in fall 1985 and greater for those sampled in the stripped area in fall 1986. Treatment with tebuthiuron in alternating strips increased forage yield for cattle and was apparently not detrimental to KFI of deer.

Keywords


grassland improvement;nutritional status;browse;Quercus virginiana;foraging;tebuthiuron;woodland grasslands;weed control;yields;Odocoileus virginianus;biomass production;Texas;botanical composition;browsing;grasses;forage;feeding preferences

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