Study

Comparison of techniques to increase Calluna vulgaris cover on heathland invaded by grasses in Breckland, south east England

  • Published source details Britton A.J., Marrs R.H., Carey P.D. & Pakeman R.J. (2000) Comparison of techniques to increase Calluna vulgaris cover on heathland invaded by grasses in Breckland, south east England. Biological Conservation, 95, 227-232.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Rotovate to control grass

Action Link
Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

Cut/mow to control grass

Action Link
Shrubland and Heathland Conservation
  1. Rotovate to control grass

    A replicated, controlled study in 1996–1998 in a heathland invaded by wavy hair-grass Deschampsia flexuosa in Breckland, UK (1) found that rotovating did not decrease the presence of wavy-hair grass or increase the presence of heather Calluna vulgaris relative to mowing or cutting turf. After two years, wavy hair-grass presence in plots that had been rotovated (99% of plots) was not significantly different to presence in mown plots (100% of plots) or plots where turf had been cut (98% of plots). After two years, heather presence did not differ significantly between plots that had been rotovated (10% of plots) and those that had been mown (5% of plots) or where turf was cut (24% of plots). In August 1996 a number of 0.5 ha areas were rotovated, grass was cut to a height of 10 cm or less in a number of 1-2 ha blocks, and in five 4 m2 areas turf and soil were removed to a depth of 10 cm. Five 4 m2 plots were established in each of the areas subject to different interventions. Each plot was divided into a grid of 20 cm x 20 cm squares and presence of species was recorded in each square twice a year in 1996–1998.

    (Summarised by: Phil Martin)

  2. Cut/mow to control grass

    A replicated, controlled study in 1996–1998 in a heathland invaded by wavy hair-grass Deschampsia flexuosa in Breckland, UK (Britton et al. 2000) found that mowing did not decrease the presence of wavy-hair grass or increase the presence of heather Calluna vulgaris relative to rotovating or cutting turf. After two years, wavy hair-grass presence in plots that had been mown (100% of plots) was not significantly different to presence in rotovated plots (99% of plots) or plots where turf had been cut (98% of plots). Heather presence did not differ significantly between plots that had been mown (5%) and those that had been rotovated (10%) or where turf was cut (24%). In August 1996 grass was cut to a height of 10 cm or less in 1–2 ha blocks, several 0.5 ha areas were rotovated, and in five 4 m2 turf and soil were removed to a depth of 10 cm. Five 4 m2 plots were established in each of the areas subject to different interventions. Each plot was divided into a grid of 20 x 20 cm squares and species presence was recorded in each square twice a year in 1996–1998.

    (Summarised by: Phil Martin)

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