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C R Biol. 2003 Aug;326 Suppl 1:S148-57.

Sheep grazing as management tool in western European saltmarshes.

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School of Natural Resources, Ohio State University, 2021 Coffey Road, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


The effects of sheep grazing on plant community structure and diversity were studied in saltmarshes of the Mont-Saint-Michel bay. This study took place at two scales: (1) at the scale of the entire bay to explore the changes in plant community over a ten year period; and (2) locally with the use of experimental exclosure set up to mimic the abandonment of grazing. Moderate grazing generally enhanced plant richness and diversity, while the absence of grazing and overgrazing lead to a decrease in diversity and richness. The development of management strategies is becoming critical to preserve the diversity of saltmarshes functions.

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