Study

Mowing and fertilizer treatment of grassland feeding refuges for pink-footed geese Anser brachyrhynchus at Loch of Strathbeg RSPB Reserve, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

  • Published source details Patterson I.J. & Fuchs R.M.E. (2001) The use of nitrogen fertilizer on alternative grassland feeding refuges for pink-footed geese in spring. Journal of Applied Ecology, 38, 637-646

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Fertilize artificial grasslands

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Provide 'sacrificial' grasslands to reduce the impact of wild geese on crops

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Fertilize artificial grasslands

    A replicated, controlled study in 1990-1993 at a reserve in Aberdeenshire, Scotland (Patterson & Fuchs 2001), found that spring fertiliser application in 1990-1 significantly increased the use of grassland fields by pink-footed geese Anser brachyrynchus, until applications of approximately 80 kg N/ha (1990: average of 13-14 goose droppings/m2 with no application vs. 18-22 droppings/m2 with 40 kg N/ha, 28 droppings/m2 with 80 kg/m2 and 27-31 droppings/m2 with 120-160 kg N/ha; patterns in 1991 were similar but with fewer droppings). However, two slow-release fertilisers did not affect foraging densities in winter 1990-1992 (average of 24.5-26.7 droppings/m2 for fertilised vs. 24 droppings/m2 for control grasslands). Split fertiliser application did not increase field use, compared to a single application (average of 11 droppings/m2 for fields with split applications vs. 10 droppings/m2 for single applications), although the authors note it may reduce nitrogen leeching. 

     

  2. Provide 'sacrificial' grasslands to reduce the impact of wild geese on crops

    A replicated, controlled study in 1990-1993 at a reserve in Aberdeenshire, Scotland (Patterson & Fuchs 2001), found that spring fertilizer application in 1990-1991 significantly increased the use of grassland fields by pink-footed geese Anser brachyrynchus, until applications of approximately 80 kg N/ha (1990: average of 13-14 goose droppings/m2 with no application vs 18-22 droppings/m2 with 40 kg N/ha, 28 droppings/m2 with 80 kg/m2 and 27-31 droppings/m2 with 120-160 kg N/ha; patterns in 1991 were similar but with fewer droppings). However, two slow-release fertilizers did not affect foraging densities in winter 1990-1992 (average of 24.5-26.7 droppings/m2 for fertilized vs 24 droppings/m2 for control grasslands). Split fertilizer application did not increase field use, compared to a single application (average of 11 droppings/m2 for fields with split applications vs 10 droppings/m2 for single applications), although the authors note it may reduce nitrogen leaching.

Output references

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