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  • Publication
    Accès libre
    Soil Microbial Community Changes in Wooded Mountain Pastures due to Simulated Effects of Cattle Grazing
    (2005)
    Kohler, Florian
    ;
    Hamelin, Jérôme
    ;
    ; ;
    Buttler, Alexandre
    The effect of cattle activity on pastures can be subdivided into three categories of disturbances: herbage removal, dunging and trampling. The objective of this study was to assess separately or in combination the effect of these factors on the potential activities of soil microbial communities and to compare these effects with those of soil properties and plant composition or biomass. Controlled treatments simulating the three factors were applied in a fenced area including a light gradient (sunny and shady situation): (i) repeated mowing; (ii) trampling; (iii) fertilizing with a liquid mixture of dung and urine. In the third year of the experiment, community level physiological profiles (CLPP) (Biolog Ecoplates™) were measured for each plots. Furthermore soil chemical properties (pH, total organic carbon, total nitrogen and total phosphorus), plant species composition and plant biomass were also assessed. Despite differences in plant communities and soil properties, the metabolic potential of the microbial community in the sunny and in the shady situations were similar. Effects of treatments on microbial communities were more pronounced in the sunny than in the shady situation. In both cases, repeated mowing was the first factor retained for explaining functional variations. In contrast, fertilizing was not a significant factor. The vegetation explained a high proportion of variation of the microbial community descriptors in the sunny situation, while no significant variation appeared under shady condition. The three components of cattle activities influenced differently the soil microbial communities and this depended on the light conditions within the wooded pasture. Cattle activities may also change spatially at a fine scale and short-term and induce changes in the microbial community structure. Thus, the shifting mosaic that has been described for the vegetation of pastures may also apply for below-ground microbial communities.
  • Publication
    Métadonnées seulement
    Soil microbial community changes in wooded mountain pastures due to simulated effects of cattle grazing
    (2005)
    Kohler, Florian
    ;
    Hamelin, Jérôme
    ;
    ; ;
    Buttler, Alexandre
    The effect of cattle activity on pastures can be subdivided into three categories of disturbances: herbage removal, dunging and trampling. The objective of this study was to assess separately or in combination the effect of these factors on the potential activities of soil microbial communities and to compare these effects with those of soil properties and plant composition or biomass. Controlled treatments simulating the three factors were applied in a fenced area including a light gradient (sunny and shady situation): (i) repeated mowing; (ii) trampling; (iii) fertilizing with a liquid mixture of dung and urine. In the third year of the experiment, community level physiological profiles (CLPP) (Biolog Ecoplates (TM)) were measured for each plots. Furthermore soil chemical properties (pH, total organic carbon, total nitrogen and total phosphorus), plant species composition and plant biomass were also assessed. Despite differences in plant communities and soil properties, the metabolic potential of the microbial community in the sunny and in the shady situations were similar. Effects of treatments on microbial communities were more pronounced in the sunny than in the shady situation. In both cases, repeated mowing was the first factor retained for explaining functional variations. In contrast, fertilizing was not a significant factor. The vegetation explained a high proportion of variation of the microbial community descriptors in the sunny situation, while no significant variation appeared under shady condition. The three components of cattle activities influenced differently the soil microbial communities and this depended on the light conditions within the wooded pasture. Cattle activities may also change spatially at a fine scale and short-term and induce changes in the microbial community structure. Thus, the shifting mosaic that has been described for the vegetation of pastures may also apply for below-ground microbial communities.
  • Publication
    Métadonnées seulement
    Spatial and seasonal patterns of cattle habitat use in a mountain wooded pasture
    (2006)
    Kohler, Florian
    ;
    ;
    Reust, Stéphanie
    ;
    Wagner, Helene
    ;
    Gadallah, Fawziah
    ;
    ;
    Buttler, Alexandre
    Management-oriented models of cattle habitat use often treat grazing pressure as a single variable summarizing all cattle activities. This paper addresses the following questions: How does the spatial pattern of cattle effects vary between cattle activities in a highly heterogeneous landscape? Do these patterns change over the grazing season as forage availability decreases? What are the respective roles of natural and management-introduced structures? We estimated the intensity of herbage removal, dung deposition and trampling after each of three grazing periods on a grid of 25 m x25 m cells covering an entire paddock in the Swiss Jura Mountains. We found no significant positive correlations between cattle effects. Spatial patterns weakened through the season for grazing and trampling, whereas dunging patterns changed little between grazing periods. Redundancy analysis showed that different cattle effects were correlated with different environmental variables and that the importance of management-introduced variables was highest for herbage removal. Autocorrelograms and partial redundancy analyses using principal coordinates of neighbour matrices suggested that dunging patterns were more coarse-grained than the others. Systematic differences in the spatial and seasonal patterns of cattle effects may result in complex interactions with vegetation involving feedback effects through nutrient shift, with strong implications for ecosystem management. In heterogeneous environments, such as pasture-woodland landscapes, spatially explicit models of vegetation dynamics need to model cattle effects separately.