Plant size variation and vertebrate herbivory: winter wheat grazed by rabbits

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Shoot-weight distributions of ungrazed Triticum aestivum changed significantly over the growing season, with size inequality between plants increasing rapidly at first, peaking in mid-winter, and remaining high thereafter. Variance:mean relationships for shoot-weight distributions conformed to Taylor's Power Law throughout the growing season, becoming Poisson by harvest time. Continuous Oryctolagus cuniculus grazing reduced mean plant size and consistently increased size inequality. The largest plants in populations grazed in winter and then allowed to recover were typically larger than the largest plants from ungrazed populations, probably due to a reduction in competition from mortality caused by grazing. Weight distributions of grazed populations tended to show increased skewness and kurtosis compared with ungrazed populations. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Ecology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)154-172
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1991

ID: 224652911