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Statistical Analysis of the distribution and herbivory pressure on holm oak trees in Les Blanches Banques


The introduction and population increase of a particular plant species can be both beneficial, and
detrimental to an ecosystem depending on how the population is managed, as in the case of Le
Blanche Banques, which faces potential ecological succession due to the population increase of
holm oak trees, and several dominant shrubs. While trees provide benefits such as shelter,
medicinal value, air filtration, oxygen production, soil erosion prevention, and many more, it is
also important to note that there are adverse effects to overpopulation of certain tree species. It
was observed that species such as the holm oak have the ability to create transitions in habitats
from grasslands to woodland scrub if not maintained, resulting in the loss of key ecological sites
and species. Changes in ecosystems can lead to the change in biodiversity of an area, which can
result in the introduction of new species, and the removal of some through competition,
predation or other interactions. Les Blanches Banques in Jersey, known as a historical grazing
site by its Neolithic settlers, is known as a site of special interest as it possesses special historical,
zoological, archaeological and botanical features which may be lost if proper management is not
implemented. This location is known to be a grass-covered seaside dune and inhabits species of
plants and animals that are not found anywhere else on the island. Comparisons were made
between holm oak sapling heights (before and after consumption if any), canopy cover, plant
density, and also other plant species found in the area which were slowly encroaching on the
grassland/ dune system in order to ascertain the best grazer species recommendations for
conservational grazing in the area. The Manx Loaghtan sheep were introduced to Les Blanche
Banque for a 5-month period (March – June) to ascertain their potential in decreasing
encroachment on the area.

Categories Ecology, Island studies
Keywords Ecosystems, Herbivory, Holm oak, Les Blanches Banques, Succession
Author Anonymous
Date published 2023
Document type Report
Organisation Jersey International Centre for Advanced Studies
IRR Code IRR/JICAS/2023.43908
File Type pdf