Cattle activities may affect pasture biodiversity and productivity. This study investigated the effects of type and size of gaps simulating cattle activities on the recovery and similarity of vegetation community in pastures. Two types of gaps (bare ground and mown vegetation as simulated trampling and grazing by animals, respectively) differing in size (20-100cm in diameter) were artificially created in three vegetation communities (sown, aged sown and native pastures), and vegetation recovery in the gaps was monitored. Undisturbed patches (100×100cm) were also monitored as a control. The similarity of botanical composition to the control was lowest in the 20cmgaps, irrespective of the disturbance or vegetation types. Vegetation in the bare ground gaps tended to recover slower in 20cm gaps than in 100cm gaps in all vegetation types. Small gaps created by cattle activities may enhance vegetation species diversity while it may decrease productivity of pastures.
- Gap size
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Plant Science