Studies in the grazing of heather moorland in North-East Scotland. I. Site descriptions and patterns of utilization.
The utilization by herbivores of plant spp. growing in 32 moorland sites was investigated. Occupance of the moorland by cattle and sheep was determined by management practices; usage by red deer, grouse and lagomorphs showed seasonal trends, with greater usage by red deer in the winter. Ericoid plants were most heavily grazed in autumn and winter; in spring and summer they were utilized less than graminoids. In yr-round ranking of utilization, Molinia caerulea and Trichophorum caespitosum [Scirpus cespitosus] had high positions despite being grazed almost entirely in spring and summer. Juncus squarrosus and Nardus stricta ranked low, being grazed mainly in spring and late winter.