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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Contrasting impacts of different-sized herbivores on species richness of Mediterranean annual pastures differing in primary productivity

Published source details

Rueda M., Rebollo S. & García-Salgado G. (2013) Contrasting impacts of different-sized herbivores on species richness of Mediterranean annual pastures differing in primary productivity. Oecologia, 172, 449-459


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Other biodiversity: Exclude grazers Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated, controlled study in 2002–2007 in oak savannas in central Spain found that excluding grazers had different effects on plants at different elevations. Plant height was higher in ungrazed plots, compared to grazed plots. Plants: Fewer plant species were found in plots from which sheep were excluded, compared to plots grazed by sheep, at low elevation (6–16 vs 10–20 species/sample), but, at high elevation, more plants species were found in ungrazed plots, in two of six years (14–17 vs 13–15). Live plant cover was higher in ungrazed plots, compared to grazed plots, at high elevation (41–71% vs 34–52% cover), but it was lower at low elevation (34–95% vs 84–95%). Plant height was higher in ungrazed plots, compared to grazed plots (3–50 vs 3–34 cm). Methods: Thirty 36 m2 plots were established in 2001 at low elevation (highly productive) and high elevation (less productive), either open to grazing by sheep and rabbits, fenced to exclude sheep, or fenced to exclude both sheep and rabbits. Plants were monitored every year in April (in the low productivity site) or May–June.