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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Using livestock to manage plant composition: A meta-analysis of grazing in California Mediterranean grasslands

Published source details

Stahlheber K.A. & D’Antonio C.M. (2013) Using livestock to manage plant composition: A meta-analysis of grazing in California Mediterranean grasslands. Biological Conservation, 157, 300-308


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 meta-analysis from 2013 of 15 studies in coastal and interior grasslands in California, USA, found that seasonal grazing increased the cover of native plants, but continuous grazing decreased the cover of some native plants, compared to no grazing. Wet-season grazing decreased the cover of exotic grasses, compared to dry-season or continuous grazing. Plants: Native grasses and native forbs had higher cover with wet-season grazing, compared to no grazing (data reported as the response ratio of grazed to ungrazed plants: 0.96 for grasses; 0.44 for forbs). Native forbs also had higher cover with dry-season grazing, compared to no grazing (response ratio: 1.24), but native grasses did not. Native forbs had lower cover with continuous grazing, compared to no grazing (response ratio: –0.31), but native grasses did not. Lower cover of exotic grasses was found with wet-season grazing, compared to dry-season or continuous grazing (data not reported), but no differences were found in the cover of exotic forbs. Methods: The Web of Knowledge and Google Scholar databases were searched for publications from 1923 to 2011, using the keywords, “California” and “grassland” or “prairie”, or “grazing” or “livestock”, and 15 replicated studies from 1997 to 2009 were meta-analysed.

 

Other biodiversity: Use grazers to manage vegetation Mediterranean Farmland

A meta-analysis from 2013 of 15 studies in coastal and interior grasslands in California, USA, found that native grasses had higher cover in grazed grasslands, and native forbs had higher cover in grazed interior grasslands but lower cover in grazed coastal grasslands, compared to ungrazed grasslands. More species of native forbs were found in grazed grassland, compared to ungrazed grassland, but so were more species of exotic grasses, and higher cover of exotic forbs. Plants: More species of native forbs were found in grazed grasslands, compared to ungrazed grasslands (data reported as the response ratio of grazed to ungrazed plants: 0.14), but similar numbers of native grass species were found. Native grasses had higher cover in grazed grasslands, compared to ungrazed grasslands (response ratio: 0.13), but native forbs did not. More species of exotic grasses were found in grazed grasslands, compared to ungrazed grasslands (data reported as the response ratio of grazed to ungrazed plants: 0.11), but similar numbers of species of exotic forbs were found. Exotic forbs had higher cover in grazed grasslands, compared to ungrazed grassland (response ratio: 0.43), but exotic grasses did not. Implementation options: Native forbs had higher cover in grazed interior grasslands, compared to ungrazed interior grasslands (response ratio: 0.66), but they had lower cover in grazed coastal grasslands, compared to ungrazed coastal grassland (response ratio: –0.38). Methods: The Web of Knowledge and Google Scholar databases were searched for publications from 1923 to 2011, using the keywords, “California” and “grassland” or “prairie”, or “grazing” or “livestock”, and 15 replicated studies from 1997 to 2009 were meta-analysed.