The effect of horse, cattle and sheep grazing on the diversity and abundance of land snails in nutrient-poor calcareous grasslands

Boschi, Cristina and Baur, Bruno. (2007) The effect of horse, cattle and sheep grazing on the diversity and abundance of land snails in nutrient-poor calcareous grasslands. Basic and applied ecology, Vol. 8, H. 1. pp. 55-65.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5248996

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Livestock grazing is a common management practise in semi-natural grasslands in Central Europe. Different types of livestock (horses, cattle, sheep) and grazing intensity are known to affect the richness and composition of plant species. However, knowledge of grazing-dependent effects on invertebrates is limited. We examined the influence of horse, cattle and sheep grazing on the richness, abundance and composition of land snail species in 21 calcareous nutrient-poor grassland areas in the northwestern Jura Mountains, Switzerland. Grazing by different livestock species did not affect the species richness, abundance and species composition of land snails. Furthermore, the number of open-land species and the ratio of large- to smal-sized snail species or individuals did not differ among the three pasture types. However, independent of livestock species, grazing intensity negatively influenced the snail fauna. Snail species richness, abundance and number of Red list species decreased with increasing grazing intensity. Grazing intensity also affected the occurrence of individual snail species (Truncatellina cylindrica, Cecilioides acicula, Candidula unifasciata and Trichia plebeia). To preserve the snail fauna in nutrient-poor grasslands, pastures can be stocked with horses, cattle or sheep. However, both maximum stocking rate (number of livestock units per hectare) and grazing duration (number of grazing days per year) must be carefully defined for the proper management of the pastures. (c) 2006 Gesellschaft fur Okologie. Published by Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved. Schneckenfauna im Nordwestschweizer Jura
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Umweltwissenschaften > Naturschutzbiologie (Baur)
UniBasel Contributors:Baur, Bruno
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:22 Mar 2012 14:28
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 14:03

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