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Impact of recently introduced large herbivores on soil properties of coastal dune soils of the “Westhoek” Nature Reserve, Belgium
Ampe, C.; Ngugi, N.M.; Langohr, R. (2002). Impact of recently introduced large herbivores on soil properties of coastal dune soils of the “Westhoek” Nature Reserve, Belgium, in: Veloso Gomes, F. et al. (Ed.) Littoral 2002: 6th International Symposium Posters: a multi-disciplinary Symposium on Coastal Zone Research, Management and Planning, Porto, 22-26 September 2002: volume 3. pp. 433-438
In: Veloso Gomes, F. et al. (Ed.) (2002). Littoral 2002: 6th International Symposium Posters: a multi-disciplinary Symposium on Coastal Zone Research, Management and Planning, Porto, 22-26 September 2002: volume 3. EUROCOAST/EUCC: Porto. ISBN 972-8558-09-0. XIV, 480 pp., more

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Document type: Conference paper

Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Ampe, C., more
  • Ngugi, N.M.
  • Langohr, R., more

Abstract
    The impact on soil of recently introduced ungulates, i.e. Shetland ponies, Scottish Highlanders (cattle) and Konik horses, is studied in the Westhoek Nature Reserve. To determine their impacts, soil physical and chemical aspects are considered. There is a significant change in bulk density for samples between 0 to 5 cm depth between animal traffic paths and control areas (P<0.05). The effects on bulk density are greater in wet than in dry sites. Path morphology differs according to moisture condition: in wet sites paths develop a hollowness, on dry sloping paths regressive erosion may occur. Differences in cation exchange capacity (CEC) and pH, the organic matter (OM), nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), between dung and control sites are not apparent according to the experimental design. Soil samples under the cattle and horse excrements between 0 to 5 cm depth show a significant difference for exchangeable K+ and K+-saturation. Inspections of dung heaps reveal the presence of a large number of associated dung fauna including Geotrupus sp.. This species is capable of digging galleries and constructing brood chambers hence influencing the physical and chemical properties of the soil.

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