How does grazing and burning affect the occurrence and development of vascular plants?

University essay from Göteborgs universitet / Institutionen för biologi och miljövetenskap

Abstract: Grazing and burning are disturbances that can be used for management of landscapes that are in need of restoration. When applying these disturbances, you can create a more diverse flora and fauna and control the grazing pressure from domestic cattle. In this study five different plants were used to study the effects that burning and grazing can have on vascular plants, and to get an idea of what the best way is to treat savanna-like grassland landscapes. The plants used in this study was Primula veris, Leucanthemum vulgare, Draba verna, Centaurea jacea and Succisa pratensis. These plants were sown by hand during 2016 and 2017 and have been exposed to different treatments that included burning and grazing. They all flower during spring and summer. In the spring of 2022, half of the areas that have been exposed to grazing since the project start in 2015 were fenced. The analyses of the data showed that there were more species, plants, stalks with flowers and buds, highest flower in cm and less shading and in the fenced and nonfenced burned and grazed areas, as compared to the control areas. These results can contribute to a better understanding of how burning and grazing can be used more efficiently for restoration purposes and to reach your goals in a faster and easier way by minimizing the workload.

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