The effects of potential bracken and scrub control herbicides on lowland Calluna and grass heath communities in East Anglia, UK

  • 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 following.

Action Category

Use herbicide to control bracken

Action Link
Shrubland and Heathland Conservation
  1. Use herbicide to control bracken

    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)

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