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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effects of potential bracken Pteridium aquilinum and scrub control herbicides on lowland heather Calluna and grass heath communities at Westleton and Cavenham Heaths, Suffolk, England

Published source details

Marrs R.H. (1985) The effects of potential bracken and scrub control herbicides on lowland Calluna and grass heath communities in East Anglia, UK. Biological Conservation, 32, 13-32


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Use herbicide to control bracken Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

A controlled, before-and-after trial between 1980 and 1982 in a heathland in Suffolk, UK (Marrs 1985) found that the application of herbicide reduced abundance of bracken Pteridium aquilinum and increased the number of heather Calluna vulgaris and silver birch Betula pendula seedlings. After two years, the number of heather seedlings and silver birch seedlings was higher in plots that had been treated with Krenite (heather: 44; silver birch: 9) than in untreated plots (heather: 11; silver birch: 1). The number of fern fronds in plots treated with the herbicide Krenite (476 fronds/plots) was lower than in untreated plots (731 fronds/plot), but higher than pre-treatment levels (325 fronds/plot). Four areas were selected for study on the heathland. Each area was divided into four 5 m x 10 m plots which were either treated with the herbicide Krenite, the herbicide 2,4,5-T, both Krenite and 2,4,5-T or left untreated. The numbers of heather fronts and colonising heather seedlings in plots was monitored annually between 1980 and 1982.

(Summarised by Phil Martin)