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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Water: Use seasonal grazing Mediterranean Farmland

Key messages

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Water use (0 studies)

Water availability (1 study): One replicated, randomized, controlled study in wet grasslands in the USA found that pools were wet for longer in continuously, compared to seasonally, grazed plots.

Pathogens and pesticides (0 studies)

Nutrients (0 studies)

Sediments (0 studies)

Supporting evidence from individual studies


A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2000–2003 in wet alpine meadows in central California, USA, found that pools in continuously grazed plots were wet for longer and dried out less frequently than those in seasonally grazed plots. Water availability: The maximum time that pools were wet was higher in continuously grazed plots, compared to seasonally grazed plots (115 vs 65–78 days). During a particularly dry year, pools in continuously grazed plots dried less frequently than those in seasonally grazed plots (1 vs 2 drying episodes).  Methods: Eighteen plots were established in 2000, each with three pools (70–1,130 m2) and nine times more dry land than pool. Areas were either grazed continuously or seasonally (dry: October–November; wet: April–June). Before the experiment, the area had been grazed for at least 100 years.


Referenced papers

Please cite as:

Shackelford, G. E., Kelsey, R., Robertson, R. J., Williams, D. R. & Dicks, L. V. (2017) Sustainable Agriculture in California and Mediterranean Climates: Evidence for the effects of selected interventions. Synopses of Conservation Evidence Series. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.