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Mechanisms of Grazing Management in Heterogeneous Swards
Peer-Review Record

Rangeland Land-Sharing, Livestock Grazing’s Role in the Conservation of Imperiled Species

Sustainability 2021, 13(8), 4466;
by 1,2,* and 2,*
Reviewer 1: Anonymous
Reviewer 2: Edward Raynor
Sustainability 2021, 13(8), 4466;
Received: 31 March 2021 / Revised: 13 April 2021 / Accepted: 13 April 2021 / Published: 16 April 2021

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

General Comments

As grazing is a land use with the greatest probability of maintaining biodiversity while providing economic returns, the information in this well-written paper showing that grazing may have positive or negative effects depending on the level of management makes this paper a very good contribution to the ecological literature.  One concern with the paper is that the data base for the reasons for a species being put on the endangered species list seems subjective.  The authors may want to address why or why not that might be the case and what implications that would have.  Second, at least prior to the discussion section, the authors seem to use grazing as a general term without separation to the quality of management.  While the authors do a nice job discussing the importance of grazing management later in the paper, it might be better to at least more strongly introduce the importance of grazing management on species biodiversity in the introduction.




The phrase ‘a host of wild animals and plants’ is unclear.


The phrase ‘livestock keepers’ is unclear.


There are other management practices in addition to fire that can be used to improve forage for grazing animals.

54 and throughout

An abbreviation should not be used to start a sentence


As the authors discuss later in the manuscript, the term ‘grazing’ covers such a broad range of vegetation removal relative to ecological goals that the term itself is meaningless without some type of modifier like unmanaged or inappropriate.


The term ‘biodiversity hotspot’ is unclear.  Is there so much biodiversity that it makes a good test case?  Or are the biodiversity problems so great that it’s a good example


The term ‘extensive’ with grazing could refer to the area or the type of management. The authors should modify.


The results of grazing on plant and animal species is likely affected by grazing management as controlled by timing, duration, and intensity of grazing related to environmental conditions.  Thus, the term grazing should be modified to indicate the level of management discussed.


Does the term ‘managed livestock grazing’ refer to ‘properly managed grazing’ or just ‘livestock grazing’?


It would have been preferrable to have written this all in third person.

Table 1

While probably as good as data as possible, the categories listed seem objective depending on the evaluator.  Unless there is evidence to believe this not is the case, the authors may want to include this shortcoming in the text.

226-229,  Table 2, and 261-264

Since the rest of the analyses in the paper are associated with the current grazing relationship, what is the purpose of presenting initial listing?


It would seem that those 65 species that are either negatively or positively affected by grazing would be those most affected by the type of grazing management.

Figure 2

Numbers seem to differ from those presented in the text.



The comparison of this sentence with the information in the subsequent text demonstrates the subjectivity of the data


Good examples of grazing management effects.


Author Response

Please see the attachment.

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Reviewer 2 Report


This review of the effects of grazing livestock on listed species in California is very thorough and well-written. Although this article is focused on California, I would have appreciated further exemplification from other studies even in other states that illustrate the actions mentioned in the text. Some current citations hold those examples. I appreciated the point made that grazing can benefit or be a threat to the same listed species. However, could further emphasis be made paid to exemplification of such a species? 

Please see the attached PDF for my line comments.

Comments for author File: Comments.pdf

Author Response

Please see the attachment.

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

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