Study

A biodiversity-friendly rotational grazing system enhancing flower-visiting insect assemblages while maintaining animal and grassland productivity

  • Published source details Enri R., Simone P., Massimiliano F., Anne L., Laurent B. & Dumont B. (2017) A biodiversity-friendly rotational grazing system enhancing flower-visiting insect assemblages while maintaining animal and grassland productivity. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 241, 1-10.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use rotational grazing

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation

Change type of livestock grazing

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Use rotational grazing

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2011–2013 in semi-natural mountain pastures in Massif Central, France (Ravetto Enri et al. 2017) found that rotationally grazed grassland plots had a higher abundance and species richness of butterflies and burnet moths than continuously grazed plots, and subplots which were not grazed in summer had the most butterflies and burnet moths. In rotationally grazed plots, both the abundance (36 individuals/plot) and species richness (8.4 species/plot) of butterflies and burnet moths was higher than in continuously grazed plots (abundance: 23 individuals/plot; richness: 7.1 species/plot). Within rotationally grazed plots, subplots which were not grazed in summer had a higher abundance (14 individuals/subplot) and species richness (5.3 species/subplot) of butterflies and moths than subplots grazed in summer (abundance: 5–9 individuals/subplot; richness: 2.7–3.8 species/subplot). From 1992–2011, pastures were grazed extensively by cattle without fertilization. From May–October 2011–2013, six 3.6-ha plots were each grazed by seven Charolais cattle (heifers), and six 0.6-ha plots were each grazed by seven female Limousine sheep (both 1.75 livestock units/ha). Three plots in each group were grazed continuously, and three were sub-divided into four subplots each grazed for 35 days/year. One subplot in each plot was not grazed for 63 days from early June–early August each year. From early July–early August 2011–2013, butterflies and burnet moths were surveyed twice/year on four 50-m fixed transects/plot (one in each rotational subplot).

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

  2. Change type of livestock grazing

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2011–2013 in semi-natural mountain pastures in Massif Central, France (Ravetto Enri et al. 2017) found that plots grazed by cattle had a higher abundance and species richness of butterflies and burnet moths than plots grazed by sheep. In plots grazed by cattle, the abundance (37 individuals/plot) and species richness (9.1 species/plot) of butterflies and moths was higher than in plots grazed by sheep (abundance: 22 individuals/plot; richness: 6.4 species/plot). From 1992–2011, pastures were grazed extensively by cattle without fertilization. From May–October 2011–2013, six 3.6-ha plots were each grazed by seven Charolais cattle (heifers), and six 0.6-ha plots were each grazed by seven female Limousine sheep (both 1.75 livestock units/ha). Three plots in each group were grazed continuously, and three were sub-divided into four subplots each grazed for 35 days/year. One subplot in each plot was not grazed for 63 days from early June–early August each year. From early July–early August 2011–2013, butterflies and burnet moths were surveyed twice/year on four 50-m fixed transects/plot (one in each rotational subplot).

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

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