Not to goad you into visiting my blog more often...(cue the snare drum)...but this is another story about goats, and there's more to come!
With co-authors Brian Silliman, Tom Mozdzer, Christine Angelini, Jennifer Brundage, Peter Esselink, Jan Bakker, Johan van de Koppel, and Andy Baldwin, I've published a paper in PeerJ about goat control of the invasive common reed Phragmites australis. Goats were enclosed in Phragmites stands for about 9 weeks over the course of two summers to control Phragmites growth and allow for native plant regrowth.
It worked! Phragmites stem density and stem height were reduced by 50-60% and plant diversity increased 4-fold in enclosures relative to ungrazed controls. We also found that cows and horses readily eat Phragmites, and that it provides a nutritional fodder for them, especially in the early summer. We recommend livestock grazing as a tool for managing invasive Phragmites when grazers can be enclosed and rotated across the landscape in short durations.
Please read the paper and leave comments on the PeerJ webpage.
More info on the effect of goat control of invasive species in secondary forest understory coming soon....