Action: Use grazing to control problematic plants
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- We found no studies that evaluated the effects, on peatland vegetation, of using grazing to control problematic plants. N.B. Grazing in different contexts is considered in separate actions here, here and here.
‘We found no studies’ means that we have not yet found any studies that have directly evaluated this action during our systematic journal and report searches. Therefore we have been unable to assess whether or not the action is effective or has any harmful impacts. Please get in touch if you know of such a study for this action.
This section considers using grazing vertebrates (e.g. sheep or cows) to control problematic plants. Grazers remove shoots or flowers, limiting plant growth and/or reproduction. They might selectively graze certain plant groups or species (Grant et al. 1987), creating space for other species to grow. Caution: Trampling, erosion and nutrient enrichment from grazers can have negative impacts on peatlands, especially if the density of grazers is high.
Key peatland types where this action may be appropriate: bogs, fens/fen meadows, tropical peat swamps.
Related actions: interventions to address domestic livestock as a threat, such as exclusion; grazing to manage plants as part of a traditional disturbance regime.
Grant S.A., Suckling S.A., Smith H.K., Torvell L., Forbes T.D.A. & Hodgson J. (1987). Comparative studies of diet selection by sheep and cattle: blanket bog and heather moor. Journal of Ecology, 75, 947–960.