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How herbivores optimise diet quality and intake in heterogeneous pastures, and the consequences for vegetation dynamics

Abstract : Understanding the interplay between foraging behaviour and vegetation dynamics in heterogeneous pasture is an essential requirement for evaluating the value of the resource for large herbivores and for managing that resource. The orientation of selective grazing behaviour between intake and diet quality depends on the spatial and temporal scales considered. In the short-term scale of a grazing sequence, there is evidence that large herbivores tend to optimise the intake rate of digestible materials by adaptation of their biting behaviour and by patch choice. On a day-to-day scale, there is evidence that large herbivores tend to prioritise the quality of the diet to minimise digestive constraints within the time that they can spend grazing. On a pasture scale, the search for areas giving the best trade-off between quantity and quality of intake leads to the optimisation of their foraging paths, in particular by modulating their sinuosity in response to heterogeneity. Repeated grazing of preferred patches creates a positive feedback on forage quality and enhances heterogeneity. Long-term consequences on vegetation dynamics, botanic composition and grassland quality are less understood.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02758801
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Submitted on : Thursday, June 4, 2020 - 4:07:25 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, August 5, 2021 - 3:44:10 AM

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  • HAL Id : hal-02758801, version 1
  • PRODINRA : 17865

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René Baumont, Cécile Ginane, Florence Garcia, Pascal Carrère. How herbivores optimise diet quality and intake in heterogeneous pastures, and the consequences for vegetation dynamics. 20. International Grassland Congress, Jul 2005, Glasgow, United Kingdom. ⟨hal-02758801⟩

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