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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Control of bracken and restoration of heathland.III. Bracken litter disturbance and heathland restoration

Published source details

Lowday J.E. & Marrs R.H. (1992) Control of bracken and restoration of heathland.III. Bracken litter disturbance and heathland restoration. Journal of Applied Ecology, 29, 212-217


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

Use herbicide and remove leaf litter to control bracken Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

A randomized, controlled study in 1978–1986 in a heathland in Suffolk, UK (Lowday & Marrs 1992) found that the application of herbicide to bracken Pteridium aquilinium followed by the removal of leaf litter and did not increase total plant biomass after eight years, but increased the biomass of heather Calluna vulgaris in three of six years. In August 1978 all plots were sprayed with the herbicide asulam. After herbicide application, leaf litter was removed in four 12 m2 plots and in four plots leaf litter was not removed. Vegetation was visually estimated annually in each plot June or July in 1979-1986.

(Summarised by Phil Martin)

Cut bracken and rotovate Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

A randomized, controlled trial in 1978–1986 in a heathland in Suffolk, UK (Lowday & Marrs 1992) found that rotovating soil after removal of bracken Pteridium aquilinium did not increase total plant biomass or biomass of heather Calluna vulgaris when compared to plots that were not rotovated (data reported in log units). In 1978 all plots were sprayed with the herbicide asulam. Four 12 m2 plots were rotovated to dig bracken leaf litter into soil and four plots were not rotovated. Vegetation was visually estimated annually in each plot in June or July in 1979–1986

(Summarised by Phil Martin)