Manure is often seen as the same thing
In nature management it has long been known that large grazers play an important role in the cycle of nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, and thus also influence the growth of plants. In addition, these grazers are often selective in which plant species they eat and which they do not, and therefore have a major influence on the composition of the vegetation. The latter is relatively well known, but how plant communities are being influenced by this is actually largely unknown. The role of manure in nature reserves is often seen as the same thing.
Research carried out by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Copernicus Institute of Utrecht University, however, shows that the composition of herbivores' manure varies greatly in the concentrations and proportions of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus. This applies both to the large numbers of grazers in the African savannah and to the herbivores from our regions, such as deer, bison, wild boar and rabbit. These differences between herbivores are caused by the plants they eat and by their digestive system - ruminants or not.
It now appears that manure quality also has an effect on plant biodiversity. The researchers collected manure from rabbits, fallow deer, horses, cows and wisents in the National Park Zuid-Kennemerland, a nature reserve in the dunes near Haarlem. This manure was used in a greenhouse experiment, in which a low or high dose was administered to pots each containing the same six plant species, two grass species, two leguminous plants and two other herbs.