|Regulation of reed (Phragmites australis) by water buffalo grazing: use in coastal conservation.||downloads: 728 | type: pdf | size: 741 kB|
Volume 13 (2013 / 2014) Article 3
Regulation of reed (Phragmites australis) by water buffalo grazing: use in coastal conservation
by W. Sweers, S. Horn, G. Grenzdörffer and J. Müller
Published online: 15.10.2013
Despite the beneficial effects of reeds on abiotic environmental resources (by trapping sediments) their tendency to form near-monocultures with only a small number of accompanying species limits biodiversity at the landscape scale. This is a problem in some habitats such as coastal saltmarsh grasslands which have the potential to host a range of rare species. To understand the influence of differing grazing regimes, we investigated the distribution of reed stands and of competing saltmarsh grassland on a 28 ha coastal island in the southern Baltic Sea. The water is brackish, and since 1989 the vegetation has been grazed by changing varieties and ages of cattle. Some changes in the distribution of Phragmites stands and saltmarsh grassland resulted from differences in grazing intensity, but the age and variety of cattle had little effect. In 2010 grazing by water buffalo at moderate stocking density was introduced. Reed stands diminished and saltmarsh grassland increased. This management has the potential to balance the conservation needs of birds (reduced nest losses from trampling) against those of vegetation.
Sweers, W., Horn, S., Grenzdörffer, G. & Müller, J. (2013): Regulation of reed (Phragmites australis) by water buffalo grazing: use in coastal conservation. Mires and Peat 13: Art. 3. (Online: http://www.mires-and-peat.net/pages/volumes/map13/map_13_03.htm)
IMCG and IPS acknowledge the work of the reviewers.