Study

Vegetation response to cattle grazing management in a Mediterranean herbaceous community, Karei Deshe Experimental Farm, Israel

  • Published source details Sternberg M., Gutman M., Perevolotsky A., Ungar E.D. & Kigel J. (2000) Vegetation response to grazing management in a Mediterranean herbaceous community: a functional group approach. Journal of Applied Ecology, 37

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Other biodiversity: Use seasonal grazing

Action Link
Mediterranean Farmland

Other biodiversity: Use fewer grazers

Action Link
Mediterranean Farmland
  1. Other biodiversity: Use seasonal grazing

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 1993–1997 in grassland in north-eastern Israel (same study as (8)) found that the number of plant species and community composition varied between plots grazed by cattle in different seasons. Plants: Fewer plant species were found in seasonally-grazed plots, compared to continuously-grazed plots, in three of four years (28–50 vs 49–66 species/plot). Fewer plant species were found in late-grazed plots, compared to early-grazed, at moderate, but not heavy, stocking rates (28–42 vs 42–49 species/plot). Cover of annual thistles was higher for three out of four years in continuously grazed and early-grazed, compared to late-grazed plots (continuous: 4–20% cover; early: 5–18%; late: 1–11%). This effect was stronger at heavy, compared to moderate, stocking rates. Cover of crucifers was lower in late-grazed, compared to continuously grazed plots at heavy stocking rates (6–11% vs 11–20%). Other contrasts and eight other functional groups did not differ between treatments. Methods: In 1993, eight plots were established. Half were grazed continuously (January–October), and half were grazed seasonally. In seasonal plots, half of the plot was grazed early (January–April/May), and half was grazed late (April/May–October). In addition, half of the plots were moderately grazed (0.55 or 1.1 cow-calf pairs/ha for continuous and seasonal, respectively) and were heavily grazed (1.1 or 2.2 cow-calf pairs/ha). Plants were surveyed every spring, every two steps along permanent transects.

     

  2. Other biodiversity: Use fewer grazers

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 1993–1997 in grassland in northeast Israel (same study as (12)) found few differences in the number of plant species between plots that were moderately or heavily grazed by cattle. Plants: In early-grazed plots, more plant species were found with moderate grazing, compared to heavy grazing, in three of four years (46–49 vs 36–44 species/plot). In late-grazed plots, however, fewer plant species were found with moderate grazing, in three of four years (28–42 vs 41–50 species/plot). Similar numbers of species were found in moderately-grazed and heavily-grazed plots, with continuous grazing (49–66 species/plot). Cover of tall annual grasses was higher in moderately, compared to heavily, grazed plots, for three of four years, and two of three grazing timings (12–40% vs 5–21% cover). Cover of annual thistles was lower in moderately, compared to heavily, grazed plots for two or three out of four years, depending on the timing of grazing (4–9% vs 6–18% cover). Cover of crucifers was lower with moderate, compared to heavy, grazing for two to four years, depending on timing of grazing (1–14% vs 10–20%). With early season grazing, crucifer cover was higher with moderate grazing for one year (16% vs 8%). Seven other functional groups did not vary between plots of different grazing intensities. Methods: In 1993 eight plots were established with half grazed continuously (January–October) and half grazed seasonally. In seasonal plots, half the plot was grazed early (January–April/May) and half late (April/May–October). In addition, half the plots were subject to moderate grazing (0.55 or 1.1 cow-calf pairs/ha for continuous and seasonal respectively) and half to heavy (1.1 or 2.2 cow-calf pairs/ha). Plants were surveyed every spring every two steps along permanent transects.

     

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