Biodiversity change in the Irish uplands - the effects of grazing management

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dc.contributor.advisor Emmerson, Mark C. en
dc.contributor.advisor O'Halloran, John en Anderson, Roslyn M. 2013-12-19T10:26:38Z 2013 2013
dc.identifier.citation Anderson, R. M. 2013. Biodiversity change in the Irish uplands - the effects of grazing management. PhD Thesis, University College Cork. en
dc.identifier.endpage 274
dc.description.abstract As a prominent form of land use across much of upland Europe, extensive livestock grazing may hold the key to the sustainable management of these landscapes. Recent agricultural policy reform, however, has resulted in a decline in upland sheep numbers, prompting concern for the biodiversity value of these areas. This study quantifies the effects of varying levels of grazing management on plant, ground beetle and breeding bird diversity and assemblage in the uplands and lowlands of hill sheep farms in County Kerry, Ireland. Farms represent a continuum of light to heavy grazing, measured using a series of field indicators across several habitats, such as the internationally important blanket bog, home to the ground beetle, Carabus clatratus. Linear mixed effects modelling and non-metric multidimensional scaling are employed to disentangle the most influential management and environmental factors. Grazing state may be determined by the presence of Molinia caerulea or Nardus stricta, and variables such as % traditional ewes, % vegetation litter and % scrub prove valuable indicators of diversity. Measures of ecosystem functioning, e.g. plant biomass (nutrient cycling) and % vegetation cover (erosion rates) are influenced by plant diversity, which is influenced by grazing management. Levels of the ecosystem service, soil organic carbon, vary with ground beetle abundance and diversity, potentially influencing carbon sequestration and thereby climate change. The majority of species from all three taxa are found in the lowlands, with the exception of birds such as meadow pipit and skylark. The scale of measurement should be determined by the size and mobility of the species in question. The challenge is to manage these high nature value landscapes using agri-environment schemes which enhance biodiversity by maintaining structural heterogeneity across a range of scales, altitudes and habitats whilst integrating the decisions of people living and working in these marginal areas. en
dc.description.sponsorship Science Foundation Ireland (Research Frontiers Programme 2006, Proposal Code: 05/RF/EEB039) en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University College Cork en
dc.rights © 2013, Roslyn M. Anderson. en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.subject Biodiversity en
dc.subject Upland en
dc.subject Grazing management en
dc.subject Hill sheep farms en
dc.subject Agri-environment scheme en
dc.subject Ecosystem functioning and services en
dc.subject Habitat heterogeneity en
dc.subject Vegetation en
dc.subject Plant diversity en
dc.subject Ground beetle diversity en
dc.subject Breeding bird diversity en
dc.subject Blanket bog en
dc.subject Carbon sequestration en
dc.subject Assemblage en
dc.subject Spatial scale en
dc.subject Sustainable en
dc.subject Ecology en
dc.subject County Kerry en
dc.subject.lcsh Agricultural ecology--Ireland en
dc.subject.lcsh Birds--Breeding--Ireland en
dc.subject.lcsh Sustainable agriculture en
dc.subject.lcsh Beetles en
dc.title Biodiversity change in the Irish uplands - the effects of grazing management en
dc.type Doctoral thesis en
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral en
dc.type.qualificationname PhD (Science) en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en
dc.description.version Accepted Version
dc.contributor.funder Science Foundation Ireland en
dc.description.status Not peer reviewed en Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences en Environmental Research Institute en
dc.check.reason This thesis is due for publication or the author is actively seeking to publish this material en
dc.check.opt-out No en
dc.thesis.opt-out false
dc.check.entireThesis Entire Thesis Restricted
dc.check.embargoformat Both hard copy thesis and e-thesis en
dc.internal.conferring Autumn Conferring 2013 en

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© 2013, Roslyn M. Anderson. Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2013, Roslyn M. Anderson.
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