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Impacts of grazing abandonment on ecosystem service provision: coastal grassland as a model system

Ford, Hilary; Garbutt, Angus; Jones, Davey L.; Jones, Laurence. 2012 Impacts of grazing abandonment on ecosystem service provision: coastal grassland as a model system. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 162. 108-115. 10.1016/j.agee.2012.09.003

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Abstract/Summary

A coastal grassland was used as a model system to examine how grazing management, un-grazed (for six years), rabbit grazed or fully grazed (ponies 0.2 ha−1, cattle 0.05 ha−1 and rabbits 45 ha−1), affected biodiversity and ecosystem service provision, by measuring an extensive suite of biophysical variables as proxies for ecosystem services. For ‘supporting services’, nutrient cycling was greatest in un-grazed grassland but primary productivity did not differ. The ‘provisioning service’ of food production was only provided by fully grazed grassland. For grazing effects on ‘regulating services’ total carbon (C) stock did not differ and effects on pest regulating invertebrates and pollinator abundance were variable. The potential for flood control was considered greatest in the un-grazed grassland; with faster water infiltration than in the fully grazed grassland. The ‘cultural service’ of environmental appreciation was considered higher in fully grazed grassland due to significantly greater plant species richness, more forb species and more forbs flowering than in un-grazed grassland.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.agee.2012.09.003
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity > BD Topic 1 - Observations, Patterns, and Predictions for Biodiversity > BD - 1.3 - Long-term/large-scale monitoring and experiments ...
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity > BD Topic 1 - Observations, Patterns, and Predictions for Biodiversity > BD - 1.4 - Quantify and model interactions to determine impacts ...
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biogeochemistry > BGC Topic 2 - Biogeochemistry and Climate System Processes > BGC - 2.1 - Quantify & model processes that control the emission, fate and bioavailability of pollutants
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 2 - Ecohydrological Processes > WA - 2.1 - Identify and quantify sources, fluxes and pathways of water, chemicals ...
CEH Sections: Emmett
ISSN: 0167-8809
Additional Keywords: biodiversity, conservation, ecosystem function, management, semi-natural grassland, trade-offs
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Hydrology
Agriculture and Soil Science
Date made live: 18 Jan 2013 11:03 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/21204

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