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Glossary of terms for managing wholes

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rainfall - While most people think of the amount of rain that falls, the critical factor is how much is usable. If most rain runs right off the land, creating flash floods, or evaporates from bare soil, the effective rainfall available to grow plants, recharge groundwater, and feed springs and wells may be very small. In most desertified areas actual rainfall is not the limiting factor -- often 90-95% currently runs off or evaporates. Improving the water cycle enough to absorb just 1 inch (25 mm) more rainfall each year generates 27,225 gallons per acre (254,530 l/ha) of water.

Related pages: "Water absorption in grazed and rested pastures ", "Dung beetles and their effects on soil", "Fundamental ecosystem processes and how they work "

recovery period - A rest period between grazings that allows plants time to regrow their leaves and restore root mass and energy stores.

Related terms: rest, overgrazing

regenerative grazing - Grazing that benefits plants and landscapes. This usually means periodic grazing with adequate recovery periods between. The healthy mid-point between overgrazing and overrest.

Related terms: rest

Related pages: "Grazing and overgrazing"

regenerative rest - Rest that allows land to recover from disturbance. For instance, a rest period gives grazed grasses time to grow new leaves and roots. Compare destructive rest.

Related terms: recovery periods, overgrazing, overrest, rest

Related pages: "Grazing management for healthy soils"

residual - The part of a plant left after it is grazed. Residual is the main source of litter.

rest - Leaving land partly or completely free of disturbances such as mowing, plowing, grazing, trampling, etc.

Rest can be either restorative or damaging, depending on how long it goes on, and upon the land's brittleness and biological productivity. In nonbrittle areas, even long-term rest is beneficial. In brittle areas, short-term rest that allows plants to regrow after grazing and trampling is beneficial. Prolonged rest stops nutrients from cycling and causes damage and desertification.

For brittle areas, short-term regenerative rest is like relaxing after an exhausting day. Long-term overrest is more like staying in bed until your muscles atrophy.

Partial rest takes place when grazing or browsing herbivores are on the land, but without predators to excite them and keep them bunched. It causes land damage.

Total rest happens when there are no large herbivores or other disturbances, such as mowing or fire. In brittle climates, it is even more destructive than partial rest.

Related terms: destructive rest, R.I.P. rest, partial rest, total rest,disturbance, animal impact, herd effect

Related pages: "Brittle and nonbrittle landscapes," "How can grazing heal land?"

rest-tolerant grasses - Perennial grasses able to thrive under rest in very brittle areas. Such plants generally have some growth points or buds well above ground, where sunlight can reach them even through a mass of standing dead growth, or they are short in stature or sparse-leafed, enabling light to reach their ground-level growth points. In the past such grasses grew in steep gorges and other sites large grazers did not frequent or disturb, but today with massive destocking these grasses are common in brittle environments.

Related terms: overrest, overrested plant

Related pages: "How can grazing heal land?"

R.I.P. rest - (pronounced "rip rest") Tony and Jerrie Tipton's term for prolonged rest that damages land. "R.I.P." stands for "Rest In Peace", a marker on tombstones.

Related terms: rest, overrest, destructive rest, desertification

riparian area - Land adjacent to running or standing water.

rotational grazing - Grazing in which animals are rotated through a series of paddocks, generally with some flexibility, but without planning that caters to the many variables inherent in such situations. According to Allan Savory, such systems always fail in the long run. Compare Holistic Grazing Planning.

Related terms: Management Intensive Grazing

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Posted 23 April 2003