Trophic interactions and ecosystem dynamic
Understanding how herbivores are regulated and how their grazing cascades through ecosystems is essential to manage grazing impacts on biodiversity.
Emphasis is placed on two areas:
- Understanding the ecological interactions between species mediated through resource competition and natural enemies that regulate populations of wild herbivores.
- Understanding how changes in the density and species composition of wild and domestic herbivores can cascade through ecosystems to impact on biodiversity.
This research involves experimental, comparative and modelling studies on sheep, deer, hares and grouse – a group of upland vertebrates which are central to sustainable land management in the Scottish uplands. Much of this research is summarised in a recent publication "Upland. Science for sustainable Wildlife Use".