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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Evaluating management techniques for controlling Molinia caerulea and enhancing Calluna vulgaris on upland wet heathland in northern England, UK

Published source details

Ross S., Adamson H. & Moon A. (2003) Evaluating management techniques for controlling Molinia caerulea and enhancing Calluna vulgaris on upland wet heathland in northern England, UK. Agriculture, ecosystems & environment, 97, 39-49


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 prescribed burning to control grass Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

A randomized, replicated, controlled, paired, before-and-after study in 1996-1999 in wet heathland in Northumberland, UK (Ross et al. 2003) found that burning and applying herbicide to reduce the cover of purple-moor grass Molinia caerulea reduced cover of common heather Calluna vulgaris but did not reduce cover of purple-moor grass. Cover of common heather was lower after than before burning and applying herbicide (after: 26-68%, before: 70-99%) and was lower than in plots that were not burned or sprayed with herbicide (68-93%). Cover of purple-moor grass in plots that had been burned and sprayed with herbicide was not significantly different to that in plots that had not been burned or sprayed with herbicide (no data presented). In April 1996 six 10 x 10 m plots were burned and sprayed with herbicide and six plots were not burned or sprayed with herbicide. In 1995 five 1 m2 quadrats were established in each plot and vegetation was surveyed in July 1995 and 1997-1999. The area was used for livestock and density of sheep varied from 0.66 to 1.5 ewes/ha.

(Summarised by Phil Martin)

Use prescribed burning to control grass Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

A randomized, replicated, controlled, paired, before-and-after study in 1996-1999 in wet heathland in Northumberland, UK (Ross et al. 2003) found that burning to reduce the cover of purple-moor grass Molinia caerulea reduced cover of common heather Calluna vulgaris but did not reduce cover of purple-moor grass. Cover of common heather was lower after burning than before burning (after: 20-50%, before: 71-97%) and was lower than in plots that were not burned (68-93%). Cover of purple-moor grass in plots that had been burned was not significantly different to that in plots that had not been burned (no data presented). In April 1996 six 10 x 10 m plots were burned and six plots were not burned. In 995 five 1 m2 quadrats were established in each plot and vegetation was surveyed in July 1995 and 1997-1999. The area was used for livestock and density of sheep varied from 0.66 to 1.5 ewes/ha.

(Summarised by Phil Martin)

Cut and use prescribed burning to control grass Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

A randomized, replicated, controlled, paired, before-and-after study in 1996-1999 in wet heathland in Northumberland, UK (Ross et al. 2003) found that burning and cutting to reduce the cover of purple-moor grass Molinia caerulea reduced cover of common heather Calluna vulgaris but did not reduce cover of purple-moor grass. Cover of common heather was lower after burning than before cutting and burning (after: 19-58%, before: 70-94%) and was lower than in plots that were not cut or burned (68-93%). Cover of purple-moor grass in plots that had been cut and burned was not significantly different to that in plots that had not been cut and burned (no data reported). In April 1996 six 10 x 10 m plots were cut and burned and six plots were not cut or burned. In 1995 five 1 m2 quadrats were established in each plot and vegetation was surveyed in July 1995 and 1997-1999. The area was used for livestock and density of sheep varied from 0.66 to 1.5 ewes/ha 9.21

(Summarised by Phil Martin)