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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Grazing effects on the sustainability of an oak coppice forest

Published source details

Ainalis A.B., Platis P.D. & Meliadis I.M. (2010) Grazing effects on the sustainability of an oak coppice forest. Forest ecology and management, 259, 428-432

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Reduce the intensity of livestock grazing in forests Forest Conservation

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 1991-2005 in a Mediterranean oak forest in central Macedonia, Greece (Ainalis, Platis & Meliadis 2010) found that reducing grazing intensity increased understory plant biomass . Understory production (kg/ha dry matter) was higher in non- and lightly-grazed (~4,500) than in moderately-grazed (~2,800) and heavily-grazed sites (~1,000). A study area of 2,000 ha was divided into six forest segments, each was divided into three areas with different stocking densities (goats and cattle): heavy (15 animals/ha), moderate (5 animals/ha) and light (0.2 animals/ha). Sixty plots (1 m2) were randomly placed in every grazing treatment in all stands and protected from grazing at the end of 2004. Similar size plots with grazing close to protected (control) plots were sampled for comparison. Overall understory (herbage and browse) production was measured in 1991 and in September 2005.