Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 353933
Title Tree colonisation of abandoned arable land after 27 years of horse-grazing: the role of bramble as a facilitator of oak wood regeneration
Author(s) Kuiters, A.T.; Slim, P.A.
Source Forest Ecology and Management (2003)1-2. - ISSN 0378-1127 - p. 239 - 251.
Department(s) Centre for Ecosystem Studies
Landscape Centre
ALTERRA Wageningen UR
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2003
Keyword(s) free-ranging cattle - quercus-humilis - old fields - forest - succession - selection - grassland - habitat - productivity - heathland
Abstract The impact of horse-grazing on natural tree regeneration on abandoned arable fields was studied in Baronie Cranendonck, a 98 ha nature reserve near the Dutch-Belgian border. The study area comprised a vegetation mosaic of Corynephorus grassland and dry heath with juniper shrub on former drift sand, planted pine wood and oak wood. Several small-size former arable fields occurred, which were abandoned in 1972. From 1973 onwards the whole reserve was put under grazing management to integrate the abandoned fields with the adjacent natural vegetation and to maintain an open habitat. For this purpose Iceland ponies (Equus caballus) were introduced at a density of 8-10 animals per kmr. In 2000 an inventory was made of the vegetation and of woody regeneration. Also the habitat use of the ponies was assessed during the growing season from March to October. The former arable fields were covered by mesotrophic grassland with patches of bramble shrub (Rubus fruticosus) and soft-rush tussocks (Juncus effusus). At a few places these grasslands had evolved to natural grassland communities with heather (Calluna vulgaris). The ponies preferentially grazed the former fields. During the growing season the ponies spent 76% of their grazing-time in these areas. Although grazing by rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) had a large impact on vegetation development during the first few years after abandonment, their current impact on vegetation development is insignificant since they are now at very low densities (
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