Study

Options for wide scale enhancement of grassland biodiversity under the Entry Level Scheme

  • Published source details Pywell R.F., Woodcock B.A., Orr R., Tallowin J.R.B., McEwen I., Nowakowski M. & Bullock J.M. (2010) Options for wide scale enhancement of grassland biodiversity under the Entry Level Scheme. Aspects of Applied Biology, 100, 125-132

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Reduce grazing intensity on grassland (including seasonal removal of livestock)

Action Link
Farmland Conservation

Reduce management intensity on permanent grasslands (several interventions at once)

Action Link
Farmland Conservation

Restore/create species-rich, semi-natural grassland

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Reduce grazing intensity on grassland (including seasonal removal of livestock)

    A randomized, replicated, controlled trial in Berkshire, UK started in 2008 (Pywell et al. 2010) found that grassland plots sown with a seed mix containing legumes and other herbaceous species had more pollinators (bees (Apidae), butterflies (Lepidoptera) and hoverflies (Syrphidae)) and pollinator species in the first summer with no summer grazing (rested from May to September) than on plots continuously grazed from May to October. The type of grazing (continuous or with a summer rest period) did not affect the cover of sown plant species. There were four replicates of each treatment combination, and grazed plots were 25 x 50 m.

     

  2. Reduce management intensity on permanent grasslands (several interventions at once)

    A randomized, replicated, controlled trial in Berkshire, UK started in 2008 (Pywell et al. 2010) found that grassland plots sown with a seed mix containing legumes and other broadleaved plant species had more pollinators (bees (Apidae), butterflies (Lepidoptera) and hoverflies (Syrphidae)) and pollinator species in the first summer if left uncut in July and August. Plots were either cut twice in May-June and September, with a summer rest period, or cut three times, also in July-August. The number of silage cuts (two or three) did not affect the cover of sown plant species. In this study, a summer rest from grazing, between May and September had a similar effect. There were four replicates of each treatment, on plots either 16 x 32 m (those cut for silage) or 25 x 50 m (grazed plots).

  3. Restore/create species-rich, semi-natural grassland

    A randomized replicated controlled trial in Berkshire, UK started in 2008 (Pywell et al. 2010) found that grasslands sown with a seed mix containing legumes and other herbaceous plant species attracted significantly more pollinators and pollinator species than those sown with a mix of grasses only in the first year. Between six and eight bee (Apidae), butterfly (Lepidoptera) or hoverfly (Syrphidae) species were recorded/plot, compared to around two species on plots sown with grasses. The abundance of pollinators was strongly related to the cover of legumes and other non-grass plants. The cover of sown grasses and non-leguminous broadleaved plants was higher when sown following deep cultivation and herbicide treatment than after shallow cultivation alone. The cover with sown non-grass species (legumes and other broadleaved plants) was significantly higher in plots that were cut twice or three times for silage than in grazed treatments. There were four replicates of each treatment combination, on plots either 16 x 32 m (those cut for silage) or 25 x 50 m (grazed plots).

     

Output references

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