Grazing effects on vegetation composition and on the spread of fire on open sand grasslands

Gábor Ónodi, Miklós Kertész, Z. Botta-Dukát, V. Altbäcker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We studied the effects of sheep [Ovis aries (L.)] and rabbit [Oryctolagus cuniculus (L.)] grazing on the spread of induced fire on an open sand grassland community in the Hungarian Plain. Patches of open sand grassland were grazed by sheep in April and by sheep and rabbit in May of 2003. Half of each patch was burned in July. Canopy cover of the litter and vascular plant species, species number, plant height, burnt area, and the speed of fire-spread were estimated in 1 × 1 m quadrates. The burnt area was significantly smaller with late sheep grazing, while the speed of fire-spread decreased significantly due to rabbit grazing compared to that of the control. Plant height was significantly decreased by early and late sheep grazing, while rabbit grazing resulted in significantly lower canopy cover values of vascular plants compared to the control. Early sheep grazing resulted in overcompensation of the canopy cover of vascular plants. Species number was not affected by the grazing treatments. This 1-year experiment demonstrated that moderate grazing has no short-term effects on the species diversity of the semi-arid open sand grassland. Furthermore, late spring grazing decreased the spread of fire on the grassland portions of the community; thus it may inhibit the burning of large areas of the semi-arid forest-steppe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-285
Number of pages13
JournalArid Land Research and Management
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008

Fingerprint

fire spread
grazing
grasslands
grassland
sand
sheep
vegetation
rabbits
vascular plant
vascular plants
canopy
effect
forest-steppe
Oryctolagus cuniculus
ground cover plants
steppes
species diversity
litter

Keywords

  • Burning
  • Field experiment
  • Forest-steppe
  • Land use
  • Management
  • Rabbit
  • Sheep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science

Cite this

Grazing effects on vegetation composition and on the spread of fire on open sand grasslands. / Ónodi, Gábor; Kertész, Miklós; Botta-Dukát, Z.; Altbäcker, V.

In: Arid Land Research and Management, Vol. 22, No. 4, 10.2008, p. 273-285.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{116d8cdd57e64427abd442f556a04883,
title = "Grazing effects on vegetation composition and on the spread of fire on open sand grasslands",
abstract = "We studied the effects of sheep [Ovis aries (L.)] and rabbit [Oryctolagus cuniculus (L.)] grazing on the spread of induced fire on an open sand grassland community in the Hungarian Plain. Patches of open sand grassland were grazed by sheep in April and by sheep and rabbit in May of 2003. Half of each patch was burned in July. Canopy cover of the litter and vascular plant species, species number, plant height, burnt area, and the speed of fire-spread were estimated in 1 × 1 m quadrates. The burnt area was significantly smaller with late sheep grazing, while the speed of fire-spread decreased significantly due to rabbit grazing compared to that of the control. Plant height was significantly decreased by early and late sheep grazing, while rabbit grazing resulted in significantly lower canopy cover values of vascular plants compared to the control. Early sheep grazing resulted in overcompensation of the canopy cover of vascular plants. Species number was not affected by the grazing treatments. This 1-year experiment demonstrated that moderate grazing has no short-term effects on the species diversity of the semi-arid open sand grassland. Furthermore, late spring grazing decreased the spread of fire on the grassland portions of the community; thus it may inhibit the burning of large areas of the semi-arid forest-steppe.",
keywords = "Burning, Field experiment, Forest-steppe, Land use, Management, Rabbit, Sheep",
author = "G{\'a}bor {\'O}nodi and Mikl{\'o}s Kert{\'e}sz and Z. Botta-Duk{\'a}t and V. Altb{\"a}cker",
year = "2008",
month = "10",
doi = "10.1080/15324980802388223",
language = "English",
volume = "22",
pages = "273--285",
journal = "Arid Land Research and Management",
issn = "1532-4982",
publisher = "Taylor and Francis Ltd.",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Grazing effects on vegetation composition and on the spread of fire on open sand grasslands

AU - Ónodi, Gábor

AU - Kertész, Miklós

AU - Botta-Dukát, Z.

AU - Altbäcker, V.

PY - 2008/10

Y1 - 2008/10

N2 - We studied the effects of sheep [Ovis aries (L.)] and rabbit [Oryctolagus cuniculus (L.)] grazing on the spread of induced fire on an open sand grassland community in the Hungarian Plain. Patches of open sand grassland were grazed by sheep in April and by sheep and rabbit in May of 2003. Half of each patch was burned in July. Canopy cover of the litter and vascular plant species, species number, plant height, burnt area, and the speed of fire-spread were estimated in 1 × 1 m quadrates. The burnt area was significantly smaller with late sheep grazing, while the speed of fire-spread decreased significantly due to rabbit grazing compared to that of the control. Plant height was significantly decreased by early and late sheep grazing, while rabbit grazing resulted in significantly lower canopy cover values of vascular plants compared to the control. Early sheep grazing resulted in overcompensation of the canopy cover of vascular plants. Species number was not affected by the grazing treatments. This 1-year experiment demonstrated that moderate grazing has no short-term effects on the species diversity of the semi-arid open sand grassland. Furthermore, late spring grazing decreased the spread of fire on the grassland portions of the community; thus it may inhibit the burning of large areas of the semi-arid forest-steppe.

AB - We studied the effects of sheep [Ovis aries (L.)] and rabbit [Oryctolagus cuniculus (L.)] grazing on the spread of induced fire on an open sand grassland community in the Hungarian Plain. Patches of open sand grassland were grazed by sheep in April and by sheep and rabbit in May of 2003. Half of each patch was burned in July. Canopy cover of the litter and vascular plant species, species number, plant height, burnt area, and the speed of fire-spread were estimated in 1 × 1 m quadrates. The burnt area was significantly smaller with late sheep grazing, while the speed of fire-spread decreased significantly due to rabbit grazing compared to that of the control. Plant height was significantly decreased by early and late sheep grazing, while rabbit grazing resulted in significantly lower canopy cover values of vascular plants compared to the control. Early sheep grazing resulted in overcompensation of the canopy cover of vascular plants. Species number was not affected by the grazing treatments. This 1-year experiment demonstrated that moderate grazing has no short-term effects on the species diversity of the semi-arid open sand grassland. Furthermore, late spring grazing decreased the spread of fire on the grassland portions of the community; thus it may inhibit the burning of large areas of the semi-arid forest-steppe.

KW - Burning

KW - Field experiment

KW - Forest-steppe

KW - Land use

KW - Management

KW - Rabbit

KW - Sheep

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=53149103206&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=53149103206&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/15324980802388223

DO - 10.1080/15324980802388223

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:53149103206

VL - 22

SP - 273

EP - 285

JO - Arid Land Research and Management

JF - Arid Land Research and Management

SN - 1532-4982

IS - 4

ER -