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Title: Soil erosion in Strathconon, central Ross, with special reference to the effects of animal grazing and trampling
Author: MacLennan, Alexander Sutherland
ISNI:       0000 0001 3615 7438
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1979
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Soil erosion is a widespread phenomenon in certain parts of upland Britain and is considered by a number of authors to be a neglected area of study worthy of considerably more attention since in many cases it results from bad land use management and poor conservation practices. One major land use which is considered by a number of authors to be of prime importance in the formation and maintenance of scars is that of extensive sheep and deer rearing. Examination was carried out in Strathconon of an area utilised for grazing both sheep and deer. The study focussed on two main topics, firstly how widespread erosion scars were in this area and whether or not they constituted a land use problem, and secondly the contribution made by grazing animals as separate from natural phenomena. The study evaluates the complicated elements of topography, climate, soils, vegetation, land use and animal behaviour as they interact in the study area to influence erosion. It shows that the influence of animals in producing and maintaining soil scars in this area is considerable, though the actual area affected by erosion was only a small proportion of the total. Certain types of erosion scar were, however, spreading and are likely to cover a greater area in the future. In spite of the fact, therefore, that apparent soil erosion in an area may be exaggerated without detailed survey, and that in this area little economic loss is incurred as a result, the areas worst affected are both highly visible and fragile. Erosion of fragile soils and plant communities and visual amenity is therefore a factor which must be considered in relation to that of the economics of sheep and deer production in this area. Many of the patterns observed apply to other valley systems in the central Highlands, and in some cases over a wider upland area. It is possible, therefore, to predict that based on the observations in this area, certain patterns and relationships relating to erosion may occur in other areas. Where these are related to land use management it may be possible to modify them to reduce erosion, and encourage more efficient soil conservation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available