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Title: Productivity: Key factor affecting grazing exclusion effects on vegetation and soil
Authors: Fernández-Lugo, Silvia
Bermejo, Luis Alberto
de Nascimento, Lea
Campos Méndez, Francisco Javier 
Naranjo Cigala, Agustín 
Árevalo Sierra,José Ramón 
UNESCO Clasification: 24 Ciencias de la vida
Keywords: Diversity
Functional groups
Goat grazing
Net primary productivity
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: 1385-0237
Journal: Plant Ecology 
Abstract: In this study, we inquire into the effects of short-term goat grazing abandonment on plant species and functional composition, bare ground and net primary productivity (NPP) in two traditionally grazed pastures located in the Canarian Network of Natural Protected Areas and the Natura 2000 Network. In addition, we analyse soil chemical properties, biomass tannin content and energetic value to find out how grazing abandonment affects soil fertility and forage quality of these agroecosystems. Grazing exclusion effects on plant species and functional composition, as well as on soil fertility depended on the productivity of the studied pasture. Erect forbs and shrubs (endemic to Macaronesian region and native) were favoured by grazing removal in the most productive pasture, while soil fertility decreased in the driest and least productive site. An increase in NPP after exclusion was consistent among study sites. Although we consider goat grazing as necessary for maintaining traditional agroecosystems, we also suggest controlling it over time, allowing some periods of rest to give endemic shrub species time to recover from near propagule sources.
ISSN: 1385-0237
DOI: 10.1007/s11258-013-0196-8
Source: Plant Ecology[ISSN 1385-0237],v. 214, p. 641-656
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