Objective: To estimate the effects of cattle grazing exclusion on soil and vegetation conditions in grasslands of Sierra de Órganos National Park (SONP), Sombrerete, Zacatecas, Mexico.
Design/Methodology/Approach: Four transects with cattle grazing exclusion were strategically established in SONP grasslands. In each transect the basal, crown and organic mulch cover, soil cover, bare soil, and the form of the autumn plant were measured from 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014.
Results: Cattle grazing exclusion caused an increase in basal, crown and organic mulch cover, soil cover, as well as over- rested plants and deteriorated plants; bare soil cover and the percentage of normal plants decreased.
Study Limitations/Implications: Increase of organic mulch cover implies the accumulation of combustible material that represents a potential risk of fire occurring in the SONP.
Findings/Conclusions: Increase of organic mulch, over-rested plants and deteriorated plants shows that SONP grasslandsare transiting to a less stable ecological state.