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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Impact of grazing and neighbour removal on a heath plant community transplanted onto a snowbed site, NW Finnish Lapland

Published source details

Virtanen R. (1998) Impact of grazing and neighbour removal on a heath plant community transplanted onto a snowbed site, NW Finnish Lapland. Oikos, 81, 359-367


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Use fences to exclude livestock from shrublands Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

A controlled study in 1989–1995 in upland heathland in northern Finland (Virtanen 1998) found that using fences to exclude herbivores did not alter the abundance five shrub species, two herb species, and two grass species. After six years, the cover of five shrub species was not significantly different in areas that were fenced (0–21%) and areas that were left unfenced (0–12%). The same pattern was true for two of two herb species (fenced: 0–10%; unfenced: 0–9%) and two of two grass species (fenced: 1–42%; unfenced: 1–42%). In 1989 twenty 2,000 cm2 blocks were cut from a natural heath habitat and transplanted to an area with no vegetation. Following this, 10 blocks were fenced and another 10 blocks were left unfenced. Vegetation cover was assessed every year in 1990–1995 using a 625 cm2 plastic sheet with 50 holes drilled in it.

(Summarised by Phil Martin)