Edwards Peter J.

Mechanism and processes in the dynamics between forest and open land in the presence of large numbers of herbivores

Project Number: BD-1000127
Project Type: Dissertation
Project Duration: 01/01/1997 - 12/31/2000 project completed
Funding Source: other ,
Project Leader: Prof. Peter J. Edwards
Dept. Umweltsystemwissenschaften (D-USYS)
ETH Zürich
CHN K78
Universitätstrasse 16
8092 Zürich
Phone: 079 664 8289
e-Mail: edwards(at)env.ethz.ch
http://www.usys.ethz.ch/

related to this project.
for which the project has a relevance.


Research Areas:
Biodiversity

Disciplines:
environmental sciences

Keywords:
biodiversity, dynamics, forest, open land, herbivores, Swiss National Park,

Abstract:
In 1914 when the Swiss National Park was established, agricultural management ceased within the Parks borders. Subsequently, a triplicationin the numberof wild ungulat.es was observed between 1920 and today. In this research, the influence of red deer upon a subalpinegrasslandecosystem is investigated. The analysis of long-term data from permanent plots that were installed in tall-herb communities up to eighty years ago determined that Vegetation structure and plant species composition had changed under the grazing and trampling impact of red deer. Night observationsof grazinghinds on the subalpinegrasslandfound that the former agriculturally grazed areas remained the preferredgrazing areas of the deer. These grazing areas were highly correlated with soils of a high nutrient content. Distance to potential sources of disturbanceand the overviewof the deer are also importantfactors determining the spatial distribution of hinds on subalpine grasStands. On subalpine grasslandsreddeerare grazingonlyduringthenight.Toreducedisturbancelevels,they retire from the subalpine grasslands during the day. Consequ.e_.tby, red deer aet. as nutrient slx.ifte.rsand the nutrients formerlyaccumulated by the livestock are translocated to the subalpineforests and alpine grasslands. Usingphosphorus as a Surrogatefor other nutrients, the phosphoruspool of the soil, and also the spatial patterns of phosphorus input by düng and phosphorus loss by grazing offtake were quantified. Balance functions(P-input from düng minus P-export by grazing), in relation to the suecessional stage of the Vegetationand the phosphoruspool in soil were estimated.The potential long-termconsequences ofthe nutrientexporton thesuccessionofsubalpinegrasslands and the response of red deer populationwithin the Swiss National Park are discussed.

Publications:
ACHERMANN G (2000): The influence of red deer (Cervus elaphus L.) upon a subalpine grassland ecosysstem in the Swiss National Park. Diss. ETH 13479. 93 S.
pdf Thesis

Source of Information: Biodiv Import 2004 (PI= 2000187; Gérald Achermann, , )


Last update: 7/18/17
Source of data: ProClim- Research InfoSystem (1993-2020)
Update the data of project: CH-BD-1000127

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