The effects of livestock grazing on ground flora in broadleaf woodlands in Northern Ireland

  • Published source details McEvoy P., Flexen M. & McAdam J. (2006) The effects of livestock grazing on ground flora in broadleaf woodlands in Northern Ireland. Forest Ecology and Management, 225, 39-50.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Prevent livestock grazing in forests

Action Link
Forest Conservation
  1. Prevent livestock grazing in forests

    A replicated, controlled study in 2002-2003 in temperate broadleaf forest in Northern Ireland, UK (McEvoy, Flexen & McAdam 2006) found that preventing domestic animal grazing decreased plant species richness but increased the cover of some dominant species. The number of species within small plots (4 m2) was higher in grazed (14.0/4 m2 plot) than ungrazed plots (10.5/4 m2 plot), while within large plots (196 m2) the number of species (32.3-28.7/196 m2 plot) and species diversity (Shannon's index 1.6-1.4) was similar between treatments. Relative cover was lower in grazed than ungrazed plots for: bramble Rubus fruticosus (grazed: 3.9%; ungrazed: 9.6%) and bluebell Hyacinthoides non-scripta (grazed: 2.5%; ungrazed: 10.1%). Data were collected in 2002-2003 in one small quadrat (2 × 2 m inside 14 × 14 m plot) in each of 52 grazed (sheep, cattle, horses, goats) and 46 ungrazed sites across Northern Ireland (~14,000 km2).


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