Performance of sheep on unburned and serially burned blanket bog in western Ireland.

Published online
24 Feb 1984
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Journal of Applied Ecology

Lance, A. N.

Publication language
Irish Republic


A heather-dominated blanket bog was burned in small patches annually for 5 yr. Sheep were stocked at 1 ewe/ha from the 2nd yr onward and their performance compared in the 5th yr with that of sheep grazing adjoining unburned ground. Heather regenerating on the burned area had a higher nutrient content than older unburned heather. Ground cover of burned and grazed heather was slower to increase than burned but ungrazed heather. Sheep on the burned area showed 15% greater lamb production and 32% greater liveweight production, due mostly to better lamb survival and growth rates. Growth rates of individual lambs were correlated with birth wt. which averaged 30% higher on the burned area.

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