Journal of Coastal Conservation

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 663–670

The effect of grazing on biodiversity in coastal dune heathlands

  • Christian Damgaard
  • Marie Paarup Thomsen
  • Finn Borchsenius
  • Knud Erik Nielsen
  • Morten Strandberg
Article

Abstract

The effect of sheep grazing on species richness, higher order diversity measures, inequality, species composition, functional diversity and allometric relationships at a coastal dune heathland site was investigated. After a prescribed fire in 2002, the site was divided into two parts, where one of the parts was unmanaged and the other part was fenced and grazed by sheep. Sheep grazing had a positive effect on species richness as well as a significant positive effect on the functional diversity at the coastal dune heathland site. Generally, the cover of dwarf shrubs was negatively affected by grazing, whereas the cover of sedges and grasses was positively affected by grazing. There is a need for comparative investigations of the effect of different management methods not only on floristic biodiversity, but on all relevant kinds of biodiversity as well as on soil structure, soil chemistry and habitat micro- and macrostructure. Consequently, we advocate the initiation of an international systematic investigation of the effect of different management methods.

Keywords

Sheep grazing Coastal dune heathlands Species richness Biodiversity 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Damgaard
    • 1
  • Marie Paarup Thomsen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Finn Borchsenius
    • 2
  • Knud Erik Nielsen
    • 1
  • Morten Strandberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BioscienceAarhus UniversitySilkeborgDenmark
  2. 2.Department of BioscienceAarhus UniversityÅrhus CDenmark

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