Study

Seedling recruitment dynamics of forage and weed species under continuous and rotational sheep grazing in a temperate New Zealand pasture

  • Published source details Edwards G.R., Hay M.J.M. & Brock J.L. (2005) Seedling recruitment dynamics of forage and weed species under continuous and rotational sheep grazing in a temperate New Zealand pasture. Grass and Forage Science, 60, 186-199.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Graze with livestock after seeding/planting

Action Link
Grassland Conservation

Sow native grass and forbs

Action Link
Grassland Conservation
  1. Graze with livestock after seeding/planting

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 1998–1999 in grazed grasslands in Manawatu, New Zealand (Edwards et al. 2005) found that grazing with sheep continuously after sowing seeds did not alter the species richness of sown plants but increased the cover of four of eight sown plant species compared to grazing on rotation. After 21 months, sown species richness did not differ significantly in plots that were grazed continuously (8.5 species/4 m2) or grazed on rotation (7.5–8.8 species/4 m2). Average cover of four of eight sown plant species was higher in plots that were grazed continuously than in those grazed on rotation: spear thistle Cirsium vulgare (continuous: 9%; rotation: 3–4%); ribwort plantain Plantago lanceolata (continuous: 7%; rotation: 1–2%); bitter dock Rumex obtusifolius (continuous: 7%; rotation: 1–3%); white clover Trifolium repens (continuous: 21%; rotation: 14–16%). Cover of perennial ryegrass Lolium perenne did not differ significantly between plots that were grazed continuously (74%) or on rotation (81–84%). Three other species (greater bird’s foot trefoil Lotus uliginosus, Dallis grass Paspalum dilatatum, creeping thistle Cirsium arvense) had few or no seedlings in any plots. In March 1998, seeds of eight plant species were sown in ten 36 x 24 m plots. Sheep grazed continuously all year round in two plots, while in the other eight plots grazing was rotated at intervals of 12–63 days. In December 1999, plant cover and species richness were estimated in twenty-four 2 x 2 m quadrats placed in each plot.

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

  2. Sow native grass and forbs

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 1998–1999 in grazed grasslands in Manawatu, New Zealand (Edwards et al. 2005) found that sowing grass and forb seeds increased plant species richness and the cover of five of eight sown plant species. No statistical analyses were carried out in this study. After one year, plant species richness in plots where seeds were sown was higher (8–9 species/plot) than in plots where no seeds were sown (5–6 species/plot). After 21 months, the average cover of five of eight sown plant species was higher in plots where seeds were sown than plots where no seeds were sown: spear thistle Cirsium vulgare (sown: 3–9 %, unsown: 0–1%); ribwort plantain Plantago lanceolata (sown: 1–7% , unsown: 0.3–0.5%); bitter dock Rumex obtusifolius (sown: 1–7%, unsown: 0–0.3%); white clover Trifolium repens (sown: 14–21%, unsown: 11–18%); perennial ryegrass Lolium perenne (sown: 74–84%, unsown: 71–80%). The three other species (greater bird’s foot trefoil Lotus uliginosus, Dallis grass Paspalum dilatatum and creeping thistle Cirsium arvense) had few or no seedlings in both sown and unsown plots. In March 1998, seeds of eight plant species were sown (1,000 seeds/species/m2) in 120 randomly located plots (each 2 x 2 m), while in another 120 plots no seeds were sown. Plant cover and species richness was estimated in all plots in December 1999.

    (Summarised by: Philip Martin)

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