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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effects of summer cattle-grazing on riparian pasture plant diversity in an upland conifer forest in Strathrory Glen, Ross-shire, Scotland

Published source details

Humphrey J.W. & Patterson G.S. (2000) Effects of late summer cattle-grazing on the diversity of upland pasture vegetation in an upland conifer forest in Strathrory Glen, Easter Ross, Scotland. Journal of Applied Ecology, 37, 986-996


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Restore/create species-rich, semi-natural grassland Farmland Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in 1988-1997 in temperate grassland and seasonal freshwater marshes in Strathrory Glen, northeast UK (Humphrey & Patterson 2000) found that cattle grazing at a stocking rate of 2.2-2.5/ha prevented further decline in plant species richness, but did not promote recovery. In grazed plots, overall species richness remained static and moss/liverwort richness increased, whilst in control plots species richness declined. However, cattle grazing had no effect on species cover and plants of conservation importance showed no increase. The study used four plots in each of three different vegetation types: acid grassland, rush pasture and vegetation associated with calcareous springs (seepage flush). Each plot had two 10 x 10 m subplots, one of which was fenced to exclude cattle. Sampling was carried out in 1988 before the start of grazing, and again in 1991 and 1997, using four permanent 2 x 1 m quadrats within a central 7 x 7 m area in each plot.