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. & (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

Restore/create species-rich, semi-natural grassland

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Restore/create species-rich, semi-natural grassland

    A replicated trial from 1990 to 1998 of combined management treatments on an agriculturally-improved meadow in the Pennine Dales Environmentally Sensitive Area, North Yorkshire, England, UK (Smith et al. 2000) (same study as (Smith et al. 2002)) found that the highest increase in plant species diversity was achieved with a combination of autumn and spring grazing, 21 July hay cut date and sowing native plant species. The study took place in 6 x 6 m plots on a 2.75 ha meadow within the Ingleborough National Nature Reserve. Plots were either sown with many native grassland species (including yellow rattle Rhinanthus minor) or not. The experiment also included three different grazing treatments (sheep and cattle), plots with or without fertilizer and three earliest dates for hay cut. Yellow rattle spread to most plots after its introduction as a constituent of the seed addition treatment. By 1996 it was particularly abundant in treatment combinations that included autumn grazing, no mineral fertilizer and a July hay cut. Populations of over 40 plants/m² were associated lowest hay yields, presumably as it suppressed grass growth.


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