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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Indirect effects of grazing and nutrient addition on the hemipteran community of heather moorlands

Published source details

Hartley S.E., Gardner S.M. & Mitchell R.J. (2003) Indirect effects of grazing and nutrient addition on the hemipteran community of heather moorlands. Journal of Applied Ecology, 40, 793-803


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Maintain upland heath/moorland Farmland Conservation

A controlled, replicated, before-and-after trial in 1993-1995 on four heather moorland sites in northeast Scotland (Hartley et al. 2003) found that removing grazing increased heather Calluna vulgaris cover/height/canopy occupancy and reduced grass cover, increasing the number of true bugs (Hemiptera) and altering their species composition. However, site-specific factors like soil type and number of plant species had a greater impact on true bug communities than management treatments. Sites with more mineral soils had the most plant species and most true bugs and true bug species. Grazing treatments were applied in spring/summer 1993-1995 in four plots (5 x 3 m) in each of four fenced/unfenced treatment blocks at each site. Every spring/summer, two blocks at each site received a variety of nitrogen/phosphorous/potassium NPK fertilizer treatments. Heather growth structure was assessed in May and August 1993-1995. True bugs were sampled in June and July in 1993 and 1995 and plant species were counted.