Long-term enhancement of agricultural production by restoration of plant diversity in sown hay meadows in the Norfolk Broads and Upper Thames, southeast England

  • Published source details Bullock J.M., Pywell R.F. & Walker K.J. (2007) Long-term enhancement of agricultural production by restoration of biodiversity. Journal of Applied Ecology, 44, 6-12


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 study in 1995-1998 and 2002 of former arable fields at two sites in England, UK (Bullock et al. 2007) found that after eight years, plots sown with species-rich mixtures resembled target grassland community types. Plots sown with a species-poor mix, although colonized by some additional species, had fewer grass, legume and other broadleaved species. Hay yield increased in the species-rich plots in the first years of the experiment and the increased yield was still apparent after eight years (43% higher yield than species-poor plots). This was largely due to differences in numbers of non-leguminous broadleaved plants. There were four replicate blocks of plots (6 x 4 m). The species-rich mixture comprised 11 grasses and 28 broadleaved species, to resemble species-rich hay meadows. The species-poor mixture comprised seven grasses to establish moderately diverse grassland. Vegetation was sampled in early June in three quadrats (0.4 x 0.4 m) per plot in 1995-1998 and 2002. During the hay cut in July, a 6 x 1.2 m sample of hay was removed from each plot and weighed and a 500 g sub-sample was dried to calculate hay yield.

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