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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Does delaying the first mowing date benefit biodiversity in meadowland?

Published source details

Humbert J.Y., Pellet J., Buri P. & Arlettaz R. (2012) Does delaying the first mowing date benefit biodiversity in meadowland? Environmental Evidence, 1, 1-13


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

Delay mowing or first grazing date on pasture or grassland Farmland Conservation

A 2012 systematic review looked at the effects of delaying mowing on plants and invertebrates in European meadows (Humbert et al. 2012) it found delaying the first mowing date had a positive effect on the number of invertebrate species but a variable effect on the number of plant species. Delaying early season cutting (from spring to summer) had a positive effect on the number of plant species. However delaying first cuts from spring and summer to autumn, or from early to late summer had a negative effect on the number of plant species. The number of invertebrates was also positively influenced when the first cut was delayed, but this finding was only true when two studies were excluded (out of nine studies looking at invertebrate species richness). The review looked at 24 studies comprising 54 experiments where the effects of delayed cutting had been tested for plants or invertebrates.