Effects of past grazing and trampling on soil nutrients at Stanley Hill Bison, Kakabeka Falls, Ontario
Honours Bachelor of Environmental Management
DisciplineNatural Resources Management
Effects of grazing on soil quality
Grassland soil dynamics
MetadataShow full item record
Global studies indicate that ungulates can have negative influences on soil quality and directly affect soil nutrient availability. This thesis examines the effects of past cattle grazing and current bison grazing on soil quality on a small, rented farm property in Kakabeka Falls, Ontario. Three fields were chosen for comparison of a position at the top of a hill intended to be used in rotational grazing (upslope area), a heavily trampled mid-slope area, and the downslope area of the same hill near a natural watercourse used for livestock watering. Bulk density, loss on ignition (an estimate of soil organic carbon), and concentrations of soil macro-, micro-, and secondary nutrients were calculated to compare the soils. ANOVA and MANOVA tests show that there were significant differences with slope position and that, as expected from literature on seepage, higher macronutrient levels were generally downslope. The mid-slope area had lowest bulk density and highest soil organic carbon, perhaps due to high quantities of manure in the soil. Continued monitoring of soil quality at the farm is recommended as planting and rotational grazing remediate past failure to manage the pastures.