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Effects of livestock grazing on wetlands: Literature review

TR 2004/16

Report: TR 2004/16

Author: PN Reeves, PD Champion, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd (NIWA)


This report reviews the available scientific literature on the effects of livestock grazing in wetlands. It specifically identifies the effects of livestock grazing on the physical and biological components of estuarine, riverine and palustrine wetlands with the aim of providing preliminary guidelines for livestock grazing in these wetland types. Research gaps are then identified that could contribute to the development of more definitive wetland grazing guidelines.

Effects of Livestock Grazing on Wetlands: Literature Review [PDF, 202 KB]

Acknowledgements iii
Executive Summary vii
1 Introduction 1
2 Effects of livestock grazing 1
2.1 Vegetation 2
2.1.1 Biomass 2
2.1.2 Species richness and composition 2
2.1.3 Structure and function 7
2.2 Birds 7
2.3 Invertebrates 7
2.4 Fish 8
2.5 Water quality 8
2.6 Soil quality 9
3 Effects of livestock grazing on different wetland types 9
3.1 Estuarine wetlands 9
3.2 Riverine wetlands 11
3.3 Palustrine wetlands 15
4 Potential guidelines for livestock grazing in wetlands 19
5 Future research needs 20
References 22
Appendix 1: Stock unit (SU) conversion factors 27