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Begrazingsdruk op oeverlandjes De Diem
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Grazing pressure on the banks of the river Diem

Along the banks of the river Diem, close to Amsterdam, grazing pressure comes in the form of sheep. The local authority needed to know the level of grazing possible without adverse effects for the wildlife of the area. This information was required as the banks of the river are managed as rich-grasslands.

We investigated the ecology of the grasslands and identified the species and conditions present that fulfilled the management targets of the area. The vegetation was mapped to provide an estimate of the amount of food available for sheep. This estimate was based on the presence of easily digestible grasses that are favoured by sheep.

The maximum level of grazing that could be sustained by the area was then calculated in a number of ways and the results of each method were very similar. A major influence were the periods for which sheep were present (year-round or summer only) and whether the grass is cut. In this instance the incidences of winter flooding also played a role.

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