Ecological Heterogeneity in the Effects of Grazing and Fire on Grassland Diversity

  • Published source details Harrison S., Inouye B.D. & Safford H.D. (2003) Ecological Heterogeneity in the Effects of Grazing and Fire on Grassland Diversity. Conservation Biology, 17, 837-845


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Other biodiversity: Use grazers to manage vegetation

Action Link
Mediterranean Farmland
  1. Other biodiversity: Use grazers to manage vegetation

    A replicated site comparison in 1998–2001 in grasslands in northern California, USA, found that the effects of cattle grazing on native and exotic plants depended on soil type. Plants: More native plant species were found in grazed sites, compared to ungrazed sites, on serpentine soils (22 vs 19 species/5 m2), but fewer native species were found in grazed sites on non-serpentine soils (11 vs 12). The same number of non-native species were found in grazed, serpentine sites, compared to ungrazed sites (4–5), but more were found in grazed, non-serpentine sites (10 vs 7). The abundances of one native and one non-native species were lower in grazed plots, compared to ungrazed plots (native: 0–3.0 individuals/m2; non-native: 1–2 vs 2–4), and another native species had lower abundances in grazed plots on serpentine soils (0–1). Four other species did not differ between grazed and ungrazed plots. Methods: Vegetation in 80 sites across two soil types was sampled in April-May 1998–2001 using five 1 m2 quadrats. An additional 20 sites were sampled in 2000–2001. Forty-three of the sites were grazed at an intensity of 1 cow-calf pair/10 ha, and 57 were ungrazed (having previously been grazed until 1985).


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