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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effects of Burning and Grazing on a Coastal California Grassland

Published source details

Hatch D.A., Bartolome J.W., Fehmi J.S. & Hillyard D.S. (1999) Effects of Burning and Grazing on a Coastal California Grassland. Restoration Ecology, 7, 376-381


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Other biodiversity: Exclude grazers Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 1989–1999 in coastal grasslands in central California, USA, found that the occurrence of native grasses declined by more in plots with grazers excluded, compared to cattle-grazed plots, but different species responded in different ways. Plants: The occurrence of native grasses declined by more in plots with grazers excluded than in grazed plots (20% vs 3% decline). Percentage cover of native grasses did not differ between plots with grazers excluded and grazed plots (11% decrease to 5% increase vs 3–8% increase). Cover of one of three native grass species (Danthonia californica) decreased by 12% on ungrazed plots, but increased by 10% on grazed plots. Occurrence of D. californica was affected by the plot’s location, decreasing by more in ungrazed plots than in grazed plots on lower slopes (58% vs 8% decline), but not on middle or upper slopes (1–16% increase). Occurrence of Nassella lepida decreased by more on ungrazed, compared to grazed, upper slopes (10% vs 3% decrease), but increased more on ungrazed, compared to grazed, lower slopes (5% increase vs 13% decrease). Nassella pulchra occurrence decreased by more on ungrazed, compared to grazed, upper slopes (20 vs 3% decrease). Methods: Three 0.25 ha areas were established in 1989 in the upper, middle, and lower slopes of the site, with grazers excluded from one plot in each area. The remaining area was grazed by cattle and sheep. The cover and occurrence of native grasses was assessed in spring 1989 and 1991.