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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The effect of grazing on biodiversity in coastal dune heathlands

Published source details

Damgaard C., Thomsen M.P., Borchsenius F., Nielsen K.E. & Strandberg M. (2013) The effect of grazing on biodiversity in coastal dune heathlands. Journal of coastal conservation, 17, 663-670


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

Increase number of livestock Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

A site comparison study in 2011 in coastal heathland in the Netherlands (Damgaard et al. 2013) found that areas that were grazed had more plant species, as well as higher sedge Carex spp. and grass cover than ungrazed areas, but had lower cover of dwarf shrubs. Grazed areas had a higher number of plant species (6 species/plot) than areas that were not grazed (5 species/plot). Grazed areas also had higher sedge and grass cover than areas that were not grazed (data not reported). However, cover of dwarf shrubs was lower in grazed areas than in ungrazed areas (data not reported). Grazed and ungrazed areas were separated with a fence. Grazed areas were stocked with sheep at a density of 5.7 sheep/ha. Thirty-two plots were located in the ungrazed area and 33 in the grazed area. At each plot a point frame was used to estimate cover of different plant species.

(Summarised by Phil Martin)

Reduce number of livestock Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

A site comparison study in 2011 in coastal heathland in the Netherlands (Damgaard et al. 2013) found that ungrazed areas had fewer plant species, lower sedge Carex spp. and grass cover, but higher cover of dwarf shrubs. Ungrazed areas has a lower number of plant species (5 species/plot) than grazed areas (6 species/plot). Ungrazed areas also had lower sedge and grass cover than areas that were grazed (data not reported). However, cover of dwarf shrubs was higher in ungrazed areas than in grazed areas (data not reported). Grazed and ungrazed areas were separated with a fence. Grazed areas were stocked with sheep at a density of 5.7 sheep/ha. Thirty-two plots were located in the ungrazed area and 33 in the grazed area. At each plot a point frame was used to estimate cover of different plant species.

(Summarised by Phil Martin)