Individual study: A case study of beef-cattle grazing in a Mediterranean-type woodland
Gutman M., Henkin Z., Holzer Z., Noy-Meir I. & Seligman N.G. (2000) A case study of beef-cattle grazing in a Mediterranean-type woodland. Agroforestry Systems, 48, 119-140
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Other biodiversity: Use fewer grazers
A controlled study in 1984–1991 in grazed broadleaf forests in northern Israel found higher cover of woody vegetation, taller trees and less herbaceous vegetation in an area moderately, compared to heavily, grazed by cattle. Plants: Woody vegetation did not decline over time in a moderately grazed area, but did in a heavily grazed area (change from 48% to 55% cover vs 49% to 41%). At the end of the study, regrowing Kermes oak Quercus calliprinos trees were taller in the moderately, compared to the heavily, grazed area (1.1 vs 0.3 m). There were no differences at the beginning of the study (0.6 m for both). Herbaceous vegetation cover and biomass increased in both areas, but increased by less in the moderately, compared to the heavily, grazed area (cover: increase from 13% to 24% vs 20% to 52%; biomass: increase from 28 to 56 g/m2 vs 17 to 218 g/m2). There was no difference in the percentage of shrubs that were alive between the areas (data not provided). Methods: In 1984, an area of woodland (mechanically cleared, treated with herbicide, and grazed for two years) was split into two areas. One was grazed moderately and one was grazed heavily (0.30 and 0.54 cows/ha, respectively). Animals were removed for December–March and May–November each year. Vegetation was monitored each April in 20–30 25 x 25 cm quadrats in each major habitat.