Restoration of woodpasture on former agricultural land: the importance of safe sites and time gaps before grazing for tree seedlings

  • Published source details Uytvanck J.V., Maes D., Vandenhaute D. & Hoffmann M. (2008) Restoration of woodpasture on former agricultural land: the importance of safe sites and time gaps before grazing for tree seedlings. Biological Conservation, 141, 78-88.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Restore or create wood pasture

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Restore or create wood pasture

    A replicated, controlled trial in southern Flanders, Belgium (Van Uytvanck et al. 2008) found that protection from grazing for two years significantly enhanced the survival and growth of planted pedunculate oak Quercus robur and ash Fraxinus excelsior seedlings in wood pasture. Eighteen tree seedlings were planted in each of 56 plots (each 8 m2), across four nature reserves in April 2004. Seedlings were monitored until September 2006. Each plot was half grazed throughout and half ungrazed for two years (until April 2006). The plots either had grassland, rush Juncus spp., sedge Carex spp., bramble Rubus fruticosus or short ruderal vegetation. Seedling survival was higher in ungrazed than grazed plots in grassland and short ruderal vegetation for both tree species, and also in rush-covered plots for oak only. In bramble-covered plots (and sedge and rush plots for ash), there was no different in seedling survival between grazed and ungrazed plots. Seedling growth was significantly higher in ungrazed plots for both ash and oak, except in bramble plots. Bramble thus protected tree seedlings from grazing impacts, but suppressed growth.


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