Activity patterns and resource use by sheep and red deer grazing across a grass/heather boundary

Hester, A.J., Mitchell, F.J.G., Gordon, I.J., and Baillie, G.J. (1996) Activity patterns and resource use by sheep and red deer grazing across a grass/heather boundary. Journal of Zoology, 240 (4). pp. 609-620.

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Diet selection and activities of sheep and red deer grazing alone and together across a grass (primarily Lolium perenne/Agrostis capillaris) and heather (Calluna vulgaris) boundary, between July and October, are described.

Throughout the experiment, both animal species had a much higher proportion of grass than heather in their diet. Time spent grazing on each type of vegetation was similarly greater on grass, and the bite rates of the animals were also more rapid on the grass than on the heather.

Red deer spent more time grazing per 24 hours than did sheep, with sheep grazing less during darkness hours than red deer. Total grazing time of both species did not decrease with decreasing daylength from July to October.

There were no consistent differences in the diurnal patterns of activity of sheep and red deer, with both species showing 2-3 large grazing peaks per day.

There were no consistent effects of mixing sheep and deer on their grazing behaviour and diet composition.

Item ID: 42624
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1469-7998
Funders: Scottish Office of the Agriculture and Fisheries Department (SOAFD), Joint Agriculture and Environment Programme (JAEP)
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2016 07:43
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060201 Behavioural Ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960804 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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