The interactive effects of management on the productivity and plant community structure of an upland meadow: an 8-year field trial

  • Published source details Smith R.S., Shiel R.S., Millward D. & Corkhill P. (2000) The interactive effects of management on the productivity and plant community structure of an upland meadow: an 8-year field trial. Journal of Applied Ecology, 37, 1029-1043.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Sow native grass and forbs

Action Link
Grassland Conservation
  1. Sow native grass and forbs

    A replicated, randomized, paired, controlled study in 1990–1998 in improved grassland in North Yorkshire, UK (Smith et al. 2000 - same experimental set up as Smith et al. 2008) found that plots sowed with grass and forb species had more plant species than unseeded plots, but that there was no difference in yellow rattle Rhinathus minor abundance. Eight years after sowing, there were more species in sown plots (17.4 species) than unsown plots (15.6 species). However, the density of yellow rattle plants did not differ significantly between sown (0–52 plants/m2) and unsown plots (0–51 plants/m2), and there was no effect of sowing on annual hay yield (data not given). In 1990, one hundred and eight 6 × 6 m plots were established in three blocks of 36 plots. Fifty-four plots (18 random plots/block) were sown with 7 kg/ha of locally collected seeds and 0.05–1.5 kg/ha of commercial seeds (containing 19 species) each autumn from 1990–1992. Fifty-four plots were left unsown. All plots were cut annually between June and September, and parts of each plot were also grazed, fertilized and/or mowed. Plant species and cover were recorded in two 2 x 2 m quadrats in each plot in summer 1994, 1996 and 1998.

    (Summarised by: Philip Martin)

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