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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The Changes in Ant Species Distribution During Ten Years Post-Fire Regeneration of a Heath

Published source details

Brian M.V., Mountford M.D., Abbott A. & Vincent S. (1976) The Changes in Ant Species Distribution During Ten Years Post-Fire Regeneration of a Heath. Journal of Animal Ecology, 45, 115-133


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

Allow shrubland to regenerate without active management Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

A before-and-after trial in 1961–1971 in a heathland affected by fire in Dorset, UK (Brian et al. 1976) found that allowing shrubland to recover without active restoration increased cover of two of four shrub species, and decreased cover of two of two grass species and bracken Pteridium aquilinum. After the heathland was allowed to recover for 10 years, cover of common heather Calluna vulgaris and bell heather Erica cinerea increased, but cover of cross-leaved heath Erica tetralix and dwarf gorse Ulex minor did not increase (data presented as index). After a 10 years recovery, the cover of purple-moor grass Molinia caerulea and bristle bent Agrostis setacea was not significantly different to cover immediately after the fire (data presented as index). However, the cover of bracken was lower than immediately after fire than after 10 years of recovery (data presented as index). In 1961 and 1971 vegetation cover of plant species was estimated at 157 points.         

(Summarised by Phil Martin)