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Studies of grazing impacts on biodiversity at Glen Finglas

Photograph showing part of the Glen Finglas landscape

The character of the Scottish upland landscape is shaped by domestic livestock grazing. The James Hutton Institute and collaborators have been conducting a grazing experiment at the Woodland Trust’s Glen Finglas estate, in the southern Highlands, since 2002. Here we study the varied impacts of sheep and cattle grazing on upland grassland biodiversity within a series of enclosures in which sheep and cow numbers are carefully controlled.

Detailed monitoring of plants, invertebrates and birds is carried out regularly. We investigate how species and communities respond to different grazing treatments and how responses at lower levels of the food chain affect those higher up. This experimental platform provides an invaluable resource for a wide range of scientists.  As well as the core monitoring carried out, further biological and environmental processes studied have ranged from population cycling in voles through carbon storage properties of vegetation under different grazing regimes to determinants of the sex ratio of pipit chicks.

For further details of this project, see a description of the experimental design, view the publications that have arisen from this work or contact Robin Pakeman.

 

Publications

Visit the Glen Finglas publications page. Recent additions include results from research into impacts of grazing intensity on fox activity and on carbon storage.

Research

Areas of Interest


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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.