What might a British forest-landscape driven by large herbivores look like? (ENRR530)

The generally accepted view of the natural forests that once covered Britain has been of largely closed-canopy woodland, with many mature trees and regeneration in gaps created by the death or destruction of small groups of trees or occasional catastrophic blow-downs. An alternative view has recently been promoted (Vera, 2000) in which large herbivores grazed open areas that eventually went through scrub and woodland phases before breaking down to form open areas again. This report explores what the structure of the wildwood might have been like, using Vera’s hypothesis as a starting point for a simple landscape model. The model illustrates that a number of different landscape outcomes are possible within the framework of the Vera hypothesis. This has implications for how data from pollen or invertebrate remains are interpreted, but also for attempts to apply Vera’s ideas to modern conservation management.

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ENRR530 part 1, PDF, 806.1 KB 2011/11/11
ENRR530 part 2 RIN, PDF, 110.2 KB 2011/11/11