Study

Re-establishment of Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull in an eight-year grazing experiment on upland acid grassland

  • Published source details Critchley C.N.R., Mitchell R.J., Rose R.J., Griffiths J.B., Jackson E., Scott H. & Davies O.D. (2013) Re-establishment of Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull in an eight-year grazing experiment on upland acid grassland. Journal for Nature Conservation, 21, 22-30

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use fences to exclude livestock from shrublands

Action Link
Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

Sow seeds

Action Link
Shrubland and Heathland Conservation
  1. Use fences to exclude livestock from shrublands

    A replicated, controlled, randomized study in 2002–2010 in a former heathland in the UK (Critchley et al. 2013) found that in two of three cases using fences to exclude livestock increased the height and biomass of heather Calluna vulgaris plants. After eight years, fenced areas had taller heather plants (31 cm) than unfenced areas grazed by sheep or both sheep and cattle (11–12 cm), but areas grazed by just cattle did not differ significantly in height (27 cm). Heather plants in fenced areas also had higher biomass (17 g) than those in areas grazed by sheep (2 g) or both sheep and cattle (3 g), but heather plants in areas grazed by only cattle did not have significantly lower biomass (12 g). In 2002, nine 5–7 ha paddocks were selected. Paddocks were grazed with cattle, sheep, or left ungrazed. In each paddock six 10 x 10 m plots were established. These plots were divided into four 4 x 4 m subplots two of which were fenced to reduce grazing and two of which were left unfenced. Vegetation height was recorded in each subplot in May 2010. In May 2010 heather was also cut and weighed to calculate biomass.

    (Summarised by: Phil Martin)

  2. Sow seeds

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study from 2002 to 2010 in a former heathland in mid-Wales, UK (Critchley et al. 2013) found that in the majority of cases sowing heather Calluna vulgaris seeds increased heather cover. After eight years, sowing of heather seeds increased heather cover in eight of twelve cases (1–30% cover) when compared to areas where no sowing had been carried out (0–7% cover). Nine paddocks 5–7 hectares in size were selected. Paddocks were grazed with cattle, sheep, or left ungrazed. In each paddock six 10 m x 10 m plots were established. Plots were randomly selected to be disturbed using a rotavator, trampled by cattle, or left undisturbed. These plots were divided into four 5 m x 5 m plots with one plot bring grazed but not seeded, one plot being grazed and seeded, one plot not being grazed nor seeded and one plot being seeded but not grazed.

    (Summarised by: Phil Martin)

Output references

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