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.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

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

Action Link
Forest Conservation
  1. Use wire fences within grazing areas to exclude livestock from specific forest sections

    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.

     

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