Dung deposited by grazing animals is a key driver affecting sward structure and nutrient cycling in pastures. We tested herbage and soil properties in three types of tall sward-height patches (> 10 cm): (i) patches with dung under intensive grazing; (ii) patches with dung under extensive grazing; and (iii) patches with no dung under extensive grazing. These patches were compared with grazed swards under intensive and extensive grazing. Analyses indicated no significant effect of different types of patches on plant available nutrients. Herbage nutrient concentrations from the different types of patches differed significantly. The highest concentrations of nitrogen (30.65 g/kg), phosphorus (4.51 g/kg) and potassium (22.06 g/kg) in the herbage dry matter were in the tall patches with dung presence under intensive grazing regime because of nutrients from dung utilized for sward regrowth. Regardless of dung presence, similar herbage nutrient concentrations were revealed in non-grazed tall sward-height patches in extensive grazing regime. The presence of dung did not have any effect on the plant available nutrients in any type of patches, therefore we suppose that non-utilized nutrients were probably leached, volatilised or transformed into unavailable forms and thus soil nutrient enrichment was low.
Aarons S. R., O'Connor C. R., Gourley C. J. P. (2004): Dung decomposition in temperate dairy pastures. I. Changes in soil chemical properties. Soil Research, 42, 107- https://doi.org/10.1071/SR03008
Aarons Sharon Rose, O’Connor Catherine R., Hosseini Hossein M., Gourley Cameron J. P. (2009): Dung pads increase pasture production, soil nutrients and microbial biomass carbon in grazed dairy systems. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, 84, 81-92 https://doi.org/10.1007/s10705-008-9228-5
AOAC (1984): Official Methods of Analysis. 14st Edition. Washington, Association of Official Analytical Chemists.
Bokdam Jan (2001): Effects of browsing and grazing on cyclic succession in nutrient‐limited ecosystems. Journal of Vegetation Science, 12, 875-886 https://doi.org/10.2307/3236876
Bullock J.M., Marriott C.A. (2000): Plant responses to grazing, and opportunities for manipulation. In: Rook A.J., Penning P.D. (eds.): Grazing Management, the Principles, and Practice of Grazing, for Profit and Environmental Gain, within Temperate Grassland Systems. BGS Occasional Symposium 34. Reading, British Grassland Society, 27–32.
Correll O., Isselstein J., Pavlu V. (2003): Studying spatial and temporal dynamics of sward structure at low stocking densities: the use of an extended rising-plate-meter method. Grass and Forage Science, 58, 450-454 https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2494.2003.00387.x
DICKINSON C. H., CRAIG G. (1990): Effects of water on the decomposition and release of nutrients from cow pats. New Phytologist, 115, 139-147 https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8137.1990.tb00931.x
Dell P.W., Jackson L.A., O'Brien R., Thinker R. (1981): Computer-aided design for software. Software & Microsystems, 1, 13- https://doi.org/10.1049/sm.1981.0005
de Vries Michiel F. Wallis, Daleboudt Cees (1994): Foraging strategy of cattle in patchy grassland. Oecologia, 100-100, 98-106 https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00317136
Duru M., Ducrocq H. (1996): A nitrogen and phosphorus herbage nutrient index as a tool for assessing the effect of N and P supply on the dry matter yield of permanent pastures. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, 47, 59-69 https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01985719
FORBES T. D. A., HODGSON J. (1985): The reaction of grazing sheep and cattle to the presence of dung from the same or the other species. Grass and Forage Science, 40, 177-182 https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2494.1985.tb01735.x
Kohler F., Gillet F., Gobat J.‐M., Buttler A. (2004): Seasonal vegetation changes in mountain pastures due to simulated effects of cattle grazing. Journal of Vegetation Science, 15, 143-150 https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1654-1103.2004.tb02249.x
Ludvíková Vendula, Pavlů Vilém, Pavlů Lenka, Gaisler Jan, Hejcman Michal (2015): Sward-height patches under intensive and extensive grazing density in an Agrostis capillaris grassland. Folia Geobotanica, 50, 219-228 https://doi.org/10.1007/s12224-015-9215-y
Macdlarmid B. N., Watkin B. R. (1971): THE CATTLE DUNG PATCH. 1. Effect of dung patches on yield and botanical composition of surrounding and underlying pasture. Grass and Forage Science, 26, 239-246 https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2494.1971.tb00670.x
MacDiarmid B.N., Watkin B.R. (1972a): The cattle dung patch.
MacDiarmid B. N., Watkin B. R. (1972): THE CATTLE DUNG PATCH. 2. Effect of a dung patch on the chemical status of the soil, and ammonia nitrogen losses from the patch. Grass and Forage Science, 27, 43-47 https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2494.1972.tb00684.x
(1972): 3. Distribution and rate of decay of dung patches and their influence on grazing behaviour. Grass and Forage Science, 27, 48-54 https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2494.1972.tb00685.x
Mehlich A. (2008): Mehlich 3 soil test extractant: A modification of Mehlich 2 extractant. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, 15, 1409-1416 https://doi.org/10.1080/00103628409367568
Pavlů V., Velich J. (1998): The quality of pasture forage under rotational and continual grazing of heifers. Rostlinná Výroba, 44: 287–292. (In Czech)
Pavlů V., Pavlů L., Gaisler J., Kassahun T., Hejcman M., Pavlů K. (2018): Effect of long-term grazing on dry matter biomass production and heifer performance. Grassland Science in Europe, 23: 413–415.
Scheile Thorsten, Isselstein Johannes, Tonn Bettina (2018): Herbage biomass and uptake under low-input grazing as affected by cattle and sheep excrement patches. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, 112, 277-289 https://doi.org/10.1007/s10705-018-9945-3
Tonn Bettina, Raab Christoph, Isselstein Johannes (2019): Sward patterns created by patch grazing are stable over more than a decade. Grass and Forage Science, 74, 104-114 https://doi.org/10.1111/gfs.12389
Whitehead D.C. (2000): Nutrient Elements in Grassland, Soil-Plant-Animal Relationships. Wallingford, CABI Publishing.
White-Leech R., Liu K.S., Sollenberger L.E., Woodard K.R., Interrante S.M. (2013): Excreta deposition on grassland patches.
White-Leech Renee, Liu Kesi, Sollenberger Lynn E., Woodard Kenneth R., Interrante Sindy M. (2013): Excreta Deposition on Grassland Patches. I. Forage Harvested, Nutritive Value, and Nitrogen Recovery. Crop Science, 53, 688- https://doi.org/10.2135/cropsci2012.07.0407
Yoshitake Shinpei, Soutome Hiromi, Koizumi Hiroshi (2014): Deposition and decomposition of cattle dung and its impact on soil properties and plant growth in a cool-temperate pasture. Ecological Research, 29, 673-684 https://doi.org/10.1007/s11284-014-1153-2