, Volume 60, Issue 1, pp 37–48

The effect of cattle and sheep grazing on salt-marsh vegetation at Skallingen, Denmark

  • A. Jensen

DOI: 10.1007/BF00053910

Cite this article as:
Jensen, A. Vegetatio (1985) 60: 37. doi:10.1007/BF00053910


The aggregated effect of cattle and sheep grazing on Puccinellion maritimae and other salt-marsh vegetation has been studied together with changes in species composition, the percentage cover of each species, total cover and the percentage of bare ground, six years after grazing had been prevented by construction of experimental exclosures. The results of these experiments are discussed in relation to the natural development of the vegetation that occurred in a permanent plot in the ungrazed part of the salt marsh. Six years without grazing caused a marked increase in total cover and a dramatic reduction in the amount of bare ground. The species composition of the Puccinellia maritima community did not change during these six years, but all species increased in cover. Whereas Artemisia maritima migrated into the Festuca rubra community and only two species Festuca and Halimione portulacoides, increased in cover, all other species showed reduced cover and Salicornia europaea disappeared from the plot after six years without grazing. During the same period of time, three species, Salicornia europaea, Suaeda maritima, and Glaux maritima, disappeared from the plot in the ungrazed marsh as a result of natural development. During thirty-five years the vegetation originally dominated by Puccinellia maritima and Salicornia europaea has changed into a community dominated by Halimione portulacoides, whereas the grazed salt marsh is still dominated by Puccinellia maritima and Salicornia europaea.

These results are discussed in relation to the literature on the effect of cattle and sheep grazing on salt-marsh vegetation.


Cattle Exclosure Grazing Management Puccinellion maritimae Salt marsh Sheep Succession 

Copyright information

© Dr W. Junk Publishers 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Jensen
    • 1
  1. 1.Botanical InstituteUniversity of AarhusRisskovDenmark

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