Studies in the grazing of heather moorland in north-east Scotland. IV. Seed dispersal and plant establishment in dung.

Published online
28 Oct 1985
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Journal of Applied Ecology

Welch, D.

Publication language


Seed of 88 spp. were shown to be transmitted by herbivores; of these Agrostis tenuis [A. capillaris] Calluna vulgaris, Juncus spp., Poa pratensis, Cerastium holosteoides, Rumex acetosella and Sagina procumbens gave good germination. Some germinating seedlings produced greater plant cover than the previously existing vegetation e.g. C. holosteoides, Lolium perenne, Poa annua, P. pratensis, R. acetosella, Stellaria media and Veronica serpyllifolia. Surveys at moorland sites showed that Anthoxanthum odoratum, Holcus lanatus, P. annua and P. pratensis were the grasses most frequently introduced following grazing by cattle. Increases in grass and herb cover were less than the decline in Calluna vulgaris due to plant mortality below dung deposits.

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