As an important component of terrestrial ecosystems, natural grasslands cover 30% of the global land. Thus, grasslands play a significant role in global carbon cycle, climate change, water retention, soil and water conservation, livestock production and so on. Grazing, as one common use of grasslands, brings fundamental impacts on plant individuals, populations, communities, biodiversity, soil quality and microbes, and then affects structural and functional processes of grassland ecosystems through different kinds of grazing livestock, grazing intensity, period, and system. We explored the effects of grazing on grassland ecosystem by using the methods of bibliometric analysis and literature review. To summarize the effects of grazing on grassland structure and functional processes, our study 1) reviewed the research stages on the impacts of grazing on grassland ecosystems since the 1950s; 2) extracted the hot topics, important research areas and keywords of previous research; 3) revealed the cutting-edge and limitations of domestic research on the effects of grazing on plants growth, community characteristics, carbon, nitrogen and nutrient cycling, productivity and soil quality; 4) proposed the future research directions and priority areas from the aspects of precise grazing management, validation of related hypothesis, and global change research. This study can provide scientific basis for grassland grazing ecology research, adaptive management and sustainable development in China.