Studies in the grazing of heather moorland in north-east Scotland. III. Floristics.
Studies on the botanical composition of 32 moorland sites were made during 1969-79. Changes in the cover of all vascular plants and in spp. number were related to grazing intensity, Calluna trends and soil type. Light grazing favoured ericoids and lichens and heavy grazing favoured graminoids and forbs including Agrostis tenuis [= A. capillaris], Anthoxanthum odoratum, Festuca ovina, Poa pratensis and Trifolium repens. Only Nardus stricta and Vaccinium myrtillus were favoured by intermediate levels of grazing. Spp. number and spp. hits/point were greater at base-rich sites than base-poor sites and increased when graminoids/forbs replaced Calluna and also when Calluna gained substantial ground cover.