Management to enhance plant diversity of species-poor agricultural grasslands at North Wyke (Devon) and Edgcott (Buckinghamshire), England

  • Published source details Pywell R.F., Bullock J.M., Tallowin J.B., Walker K.J., Warman E.A. & Masters G. (2007) Enhancing diversity of species-poor grasslands: an experimental assessment of multiple constraints. Journal of Applied Ecology, 44, 81-94


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 randomized, replicated and controlled trial in 1999-2003 of restoration methods at two sites in the UK (Pywell et al. 2007) found that turf removal followed by seed addition was the most effective means of increasing plant diversity. Multiple harrowing was moderately effective and was enhanced by applying snail/slug pesticide and sowing yellow rattle Rhinanthus minor (which reduced competition from grasses). Grazing, slot-seeding and inoculation with soil microbial communities from species-rich grasslands did not increase botanical diversity, and different grazing management regimes had little impact. Thirteen treatments were applied to 15 x 15 m plots at sites in Devon and Buckinghamshire, with eight replicates of each treatment. All treatments were managed with a single July hay cut.


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