printer version (loads faster)


Glossary of terms for managing wholes

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Land EKG - A system for monitoring land health, designed to provide land managers with more useful information about what their land needs to become or stay healthy. It was developed by Charlie Orchard.

Related pages: "Landscape monitoring for ecosystem health"

land grant universities - A system of public universities in the U.S., intended to provide education for the masses, do agricultural research, and serve communities through the Cooperative Extension Service. Extension's job is to ensure that knowledge gets off college campuses and into the hands of citizens.

Once rich sources of useful research for public benefit, land grant colleges today largely serve as publicly subsidized research centers for private companies, with the companies that provide partial funding ending up with the patents and proprietary knowledge.

litter - Dead plant matter lying on the soil surface. Immature litter is easy to distinguish from the soil beneath it. Mature litter blends imperceptibly into the soil.

litter dam - Litter that accumulated when washed and caught against vegetation. A sign of sheet erosion, litter dams help protect the soil surface from further erosion.

Livestock Unit - (LU) A standard unit to describe livestock numbers of various species as a single figure that expresses the total amount of livestock present. Various formulas are used, for instance 1 adult cow = 3 pigs or 7 sheep/goats. LUs are approximate, since different breeds vary so much in size and forage consumption.

Living Machine - An assembly of interlinked artificial ecosystems that can grow food, generate energy, clean the air, heat and cool buildings, etc. Today they are primarily used to treat wastewater. They were developed by ecological designer John Todd.

Related pages: "Ecological design at Ocean Arks International"

low-density grazing - (Also selective grazing or patch grazing.) A problem normally caused by too small a herd, too low a stock density, or both, along with too short a time in the paddock. Only some plants get grazed, while those left ungrazed become old, stale, and weaken eventually from overrest. Once started, even by one grazing, patchiness tends to get worse, since the nutritional contrast between regrowth on grazed areas and old material on ungrazed areas increases with time. The common remedy of holding stock longer to force them to graze everything results in stock stress and decreased animal performance. Instead, increase stock density while generally shortening graze times.

This type of patchy pasture looks superficially similar to patchiness produced by grazing stock at low density for long periods. The difference is that extended grazing periods allow overgrazing of plants, as their resprouting leaves get bitten again and again. Low-density grazing can cause patchy forage even where no plants get overgrazed.

Related terms: set stocking, destructive grazing, regenerative grazing

Related pages: "Grazing and overgrazing"

LSU - Livestock Unit

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Suggestions for terms or definitions? Email us (opens web form).

Posted 23 April 2003