Impact of domestic livestock
Dietz, Dietz, Edwards & Wildi
Many alpine regions have been used for livestock production for centuries. However, alpine pastures, although often very rich in species and important for the conservation of biodiversity, are not natural habitats. A range of traditional alpine livestock systems has produced a wide diversity of different plant communities which reflect gradients in nutrient enrichment and grazing/mowing intensity. The plant species they contain, although derived from many habitats, possess species traits which enable them to persist under agricultural management. Today many of these communities are threatened, both from intensification and from the abandonment of traditional agriculture. In this section we will also consider the management problems associated with the high density of domestic animals in some places of the Alpine environment. These include the effects of intense grazing and trampling on a landscape scale and the changed spatial patterns of nutrient loss and nutrient enrichment.
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Start Learning objectives History Impact Plant traits Plant communities Nutrient cycling Management Intensification Abandonment Conclusions Review test


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29 August 2011
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