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Individual study: Impact of grazing management with large herbivores on forest ground flora and bramble understorey

Published source details

Van Uytvanck J. & Hoffmann M. (2009) Impact of grazing management with large herbivores on forest ground flora and bramble understorey. Acta oecologica, 35, 523-532


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Use wire fences within grazing areas to exclude livestock from specific forest sections Forest Conservation

A replicated, before-and-after study in 1996-2008 in temperate forest in Belgium (Van Uytvank & Hoffmann 2009) found that excluding cattle grazing increased bramble Rubus sp. cover and that of some other ground forest plant species. Bramble cover decreased by 30% in grazed plots and increased by 19% in ungrazed plots. In grazed plots frequencies of English ivy Hedera helix and common periwinkle Vinca minor decreased (30 vs 0%) (9 vs 0%) respectively, while the cover of oxlip Primula elatior remained similar (13 vs 12%). In ungrazed plots frequencies did not change for ivy (26 vs 24%), common periwinkle (5 vs 7%) and oxlip (16 vs 13%). Percentage cover and the abundance of wood anemone Anemone nemorosa were higher in ungrazed than in grazed plots (36 vs 22% cover, 230 vs 100 flowers/ plot respectively). Bramble cover data were collected in 1998 and in 2008 in four plots (20 × 40 m) each divided to equal grazed and ungrazed subplots. Presence/absence of ivy, common periwinkle and oxlip (in 2002 and 2008), and cover and frequency of wood anemone (in 2008) were monitored in 206 grazed and 206-225 ungrazed 2 × 2 m plots. Grazing (0.25 cows/ha) began in 2004.