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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Plant functional trait responses to interannual rainfall variability, summer drought and seasonal grazing in Mediterranean herbaceous communities

Published source details

Pérez-Camacho L., Rebollo S., Hernández-Santana V., García-Salgado G., Pavón-García J. & Gómez-Sal A. (2012) Plant functional trait responses to interannual rainfall variability, summer drought and seasonal grazing in Mediterranean herbaceous communities. Functional Ecology, 26, 740-749


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: Use seasonal grazing Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 1997–2006 in former farmland in central Spain found that the plant cover varied between plots grazed by sheep in the spring and autumn, and this effect varied with irrigation, for two of seven functional groups of plants. Plants: Spring-grazed plots had lower cover of spring annuals than autumn-grazed plots, for two of three irrigation treatments (100–105% vs 81–91% cover). Spring-grazed plots had lower cover of large-seeded spring annuals, for all irrigation treatments (30–62% vs 17–51% cover). There were no differences in cover for five of seven functional groups. Methods: Twelve plots were established in 1997 (162 m2 plots), with a combination of either spring grazing (April) or autumn grazing (November) and one of three irrigation regimes (none, spring and autumn, or year-round). Plots were grazed for one week each year at 5.2 or 4.3 sheep/ha for spring and autumn, respectively. Plants were surveyed in six 50 x 50 cm quadrats in each plot in May and September each year.

 

Other biodiversity: Use grazers to manage vegetation Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 1997–2006 in former farmland in central Spain found that the cover of three of seven functional groups of plants differed between sheep-grazed and ungrazed plots. Plants: Grazed plots had lower perennial cover than ungrazed plots (14–36% perennial cover vs 26–47%). Grazed plots had lower cover of spring annuals than ungrazed plots, but only with one of three irrigation treatments (year-round irrigation: 71–79% vs 100%). This pattern was driven by large-seeded annuals, which also had lower cover with a combination of spring grazing and no irrigation (29% vs 50% for ungrazed). There were no differences in cover for the other four functional groups investigated. Methods: Eighteen 162 m2 plots were established in 1997, with a combination of three grazing regimes (spring grazing in April, autumn grazing in November, or no grazing) and three irrigation regimes (none, spring and autumn, or year-round). Plots were grazed for one week each year, at 5.2 or 4.3 sheep/ha in spring and autumn, respectively. Plants were surveyed in six 50 x 50 cm quadrats in each plot, in May and September each year.