Individual study: Using Shrub Clearing, Draining, and Herbivory to Control Bramble Invasion in Mediterranean Dry Grasslands
Masson S., Mesléard F. & Dutoit T. (2015) Using Shrub Clearing, Draining, and Herbivory to Control Bramble Invasion in Mediterranean Dry Grasslands. Environmental Management, 56, 933-945
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Other biodiversity: Use grazers to manage vegetation
A replicated, controlled study in 2010–2013 in grasslands in southern France found that grazing by sheep had little effect on plant communities or elmleaf blackberry Rubus ulmifolius. Plants: Similar numbers of plant species and similar plant diversity were found in grazed and ungrazed plots (17–51 species; diversity reported as Shannon indices). Bramble cover was lower in grazed plots, compared to ungrazed plots, under one of four conditions, when plots were also cut and drained (25% vs 49% cover). Bramble height was lower in grazed plots, under two of four conditions, when plots were also cut (13–14 vs 35–38 cm). Vegetation height was lower in grazed plots, under one of four conditions, when they were also cut and drained (13 vs 36 cm). Methods: In 2010, 48 plots (10 x 10 m) were established in two areas of grassland grazed by sheep and goats. Half of the plots were fenced to prevent grazing. Half of the plots were also cut, and half were drained using drainage ditches. The grazers were a flock of 1,100 sheep and 20 goats, for 30 days in March–April and 15 days in May–June in 2011–2013 (2.7 days/sheep/ha/year). Vegetation was monitored in May (one 5 x 5 m quadrat/plot).