The impact of grazing on the dynamics and productivity of grasslands has been an important subject of basic and applied ecological research. Theoretical and applied questions are intimately linked since developing sustainable grazing management requires an understanding on the dynamics of the grazing system. Early models on grazing systems were based on the Clementsian theory of ecological succession, and since the 1970s biomass-herbivore grazing systems were modeled in analog to predator-prey models developed one decade earlier. Since the 1980s, however, the equilibrium concept was increasingly challenged, and in the late 1980s nonequilibrium concepts and models emerged which stipulated environmental variation (due to rainfall variability) and spatial heterogeneity. Numerous grazing models have modified the early predator-prey differential equation models, and spatially explicit and rule-based simulation models are increasingly used to analyze specific grazing systems. For a detailed treatment of grazing models, see Grazing Models.
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