HFX205 Grazing Ecology and Management

Credits (ECTS):5

Course responsible:Øystein Holand

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Norsk

Course frequency:Annually

Nominal workload:125 hours.

Teaching and exam period:

This course starts in June block. This course has teaching/evaluation in June block.

The course has its last teaching in June 2024.

From August 2025 the course will be part of HFX256- Small ruminants: Breeeding, Nutrition and Ethology.

This course will start in August and finish in the autumn semester. It will change to 10 credits.

About this course

Significance and value of grazing areas as feed resources for livestock and wild deer in Norway. Framework for grazing management (natural, legal and economical/political). Different aspects of natural and cultivated grassland (i.e. vegetation communities, plant quality, plant production and carrying capacity). Grassland ecosystem and adaptations between plants and grazers (such as behavioural, physiological and grazing resistance). Grazing animals as a tool for landscape management. Field registrations.

Learning outcome

Students will receive a summary of the significance and value of grazing areas as feed resources for livestock and wild deer. After course completion, students should master the following topics: Grazing history and the current values of forage as feed recognise framework for grazing (natural, legal and economical/political), understand adaptations between plants and grazers, such as behavioural, physiological and grazing resistance, recognise different types of wild and cultivated forage, and methods for calculating grazing capacity, measuring plant quality and quantity, and factors influencing these, understand grazing habits of domestic and wild animals in Norway, know the significance of different species and realise how they influence cultivated landscapes, realise the reasons for increasing conflict surrounding landscape conservation, and arguments from all sides. The theoretical basis of the course should provide the knowledge and motivate students to specialise in grazing-related fields for thesis and further work. Students should also realise that animal welfare is central in pasture use and understand pasture conservation as a conflict area between ecology, conservation and social studies. The significance of grazing animals as a tool for landscape management will be presented.
  • Teaching methods are varied, and include lectures, seminars and group work with a teacher present. The compulsory group work involves a specific topic that will be presented to the class. Practical work, including field trips are vital. Practical work includes pasture registration for different grazing animals, data treatment and presentation and discussion of results.
  • HFE200 (or ZOOL100 + BOT100, basic knowledge of zoology and botany).
  • 3 hour written examination, which counts 100%.

  • The external examiner will assess the examination and also provide comments on the general course structure.
  • Assignments and discussion groups. Field work (field registration, data processing, presentation and discussion of the results).
  • Lectures: 24 hours. Exercises/discussion groups/assignments: 30 hours. Field work, etc.: 30 hours.
  • Special requirements in Science