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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effects of grazing management on biodiversity across trophic levels – the importance of livestock species and stocking density in salt marshes

Published source details

van Klink R., Nolte S., Mandema F.S., Lagendijk D.D.G., Wallis De Vries M.F., Bakker J.P., Esselink P. & Smit C. (2016) Effects of grazing management on biodiversity across trophic levels – the importance of livestock species and stocking density in salt marshes. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 235, 329-339


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

Change type of livestock Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, randomized, paired sites, controlled study in 2010–2013 on a coastal salt marsh in the Netherlands (van Klink et al. 2016) found that plots grazed by cattle contained more signs of vole Microtus spp. presence than did plots grazed by horses. After four years, a greater proportion of surveyed quadrats contained signs of vole presence in plots grazed by cattle than in plots grazed by horses (data not reported). Twelve plots were established (in three sets of four plots) on a grazed salt marsh. From 2010, six plots (two random plots/set) were grazed by each livestock type: cows (600 kg) or horses (700 kg). Grazing occurred in summer (June–October) only. Half of the plots were grazed at high intensity (1.0 animal/ha) and half were grazed at low intensity (0.5 animals/ha). In October 2013, sixty quadrats (2 m2) were surveyed in the higher elevations of each plot for signs of vole presence (runways, fresh plant fragments or faecal pellets). Some flooded quadrats were excluded from analyses.

(Summarised by Nigel Taylor)

Reduce intensity of grazing by domestic livestock Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, randomized, paired sites, controlled study in 2010–2013 on a coastal salt marsh in the Netherlands (van Klink et al. 2016) found that plots grazed at lower intensity contained more signs of vole Microtus spp. presence than did plots grazed at higher intensity. After four years, a greater proportion of surveyed quadrats contained signs of vole presence in plots grazed at lower intensity than in plots grazed at high intensity (data not reported). Twelve plots were established (in three sets of four) on a historically grazed salt marsh. From 2010, six plots (two random plots/set) were grazed at each intensity: low (0.5 animals/ha) or high (1.0 animal/ha). Grazing occurred in summer (June–October) only. Half of the plots were grazed by cows and half by horses. In October 2013, sixty quadrats (2 m2) were surveyed in the higher elevations of each plot for signs of vole presence (runways, fresh plant fragments or faecal pellets). Some flooded quadrats were excluded from the analysis.

(Summarised by Nigel Taylor)