Effects of a long-term disturbance on arthropods and vegetation in subalpine wetlands: manifestations of pack stock grazing in early versus mid-season

  • Published source details Holmquist J.G., Schmidt-Gengenbach J. & Haultain S.A. (2013) Effects of a long-term disturbance on arthropods and vegetation in subalpine wetlands: manifestations of pack stock grazing in early versus mid-season. PLoS ONE, 8, e54109.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Other biodiversity: Exclude grazers

Action Link
Mediterranean Farmland
  1. Other biodiversity: Exclude grazers

    A replicated, paired, site comparison in 2010–2011 in alpine meadows in central California, USA, found few differences in invertebrate communities, green plant cover or plant height between grazed and ungrazed meadows. Invertebrates: Similar numbers of invertebrate species were found in ungrazed or grazed meadows (21–34 species/sample). However, there were more species in ungrazed meadows, compared to grazed meadows, in one of four comparisons (non-ground-dwelling invertebrates sampled in mid-grazing season: data not reported). There were more individuals in ungrazed meadows, compared to grazed meadows, in mid-season, but not early season (data not reported). Three of 99 families of invertebrates had more individuals in ungrazed, compared to grazed meadows (data not reported). There were no differences in nine other measures of invertebrate communities between ungrazed and grazed meadows. Plants: Green plant cover and plant height did not differ between grazed and ungrazed meadows (54–76% cover and 7–15 cm height). Methods: Ten pairs of meadows were selected in 2010: one that had not been grazed for at least two decades, and one grazed by cattle from July–September with an average stocking density of 18.5 grazed nights/ha/year. Invertebrates and plants were sampled in July/August and September each year at four points within each meadow.


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