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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effects of cutting and nitrogen deposition on biodiversity in Cantabrian heathlands

Published source details

Calvo L., Alonso I., Marcos E & De Luis E. (2007) Effects of cutting and nitrogen deposition on biodiversity in Cantabrian heathlands. Applied Vegetation Science, 10, 43-52


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

Use cutting/mowing to mimic grazing Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

A replicated, randomized, before-and-after study in 1998–2003 in three heathlands in Northern Spain (Calvo et al. 2007) found that using cutting to mimic livestock grazing did not increase the number of plant species or cover of cross-leaved heath Erica tetralix, but reduced the cover of heather Calluna vulgaris, and increased grass cover In the three sites, five years after cutting the number of plant species (4–12 species/plot) was not significantly higher than before cutting (4–11 species/plot). Cover of heather decreased in three of three cases from 55–83% cover before cutting to 9–17% cover after cutting. Cover of cross-leaved heath was not significantly higher after cutting (19-33% cover) than before cutting (13-33% cover). Cutting increased grass cover from 2–22% cover before cutting to 7–38% cover after cutting. Ten 1 m2 plots were established in each of the three sampled sites. In 1998 in each site all heather and cross-leaved heath plants were cut in five randomly selected plots, while the other five plots were not cut. Vegetation cover was assessed in each plot before cutting and then in every year in 1999–2003.

(Summarised by Phil Martin)