Trends in soil chemistry and floristics associated with the establishment of a low-input meadow system on an arable clay soil in Essex, England

  • Published source details Gough M.W. & Marrs R.H. (1990) Trends in soil chemistry and floristics associated with the establishment of a low-input meadow system on an arable clay soil in Essex, England. Biological Conservation, 52, 135-146.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Sow native grass and forbs

Action Link
Grassland Conservation
  1. Sow native grass and forbs

    A site comparison study in 1984–1994 in a former agricultural field in Essex, UK (Gough & Marrs 1990) found that after sowing grass and forb species, plant species richness and diversity were lower than in a nearby old meadow. Four years after sowing, 19 plant species were recorded in the field sown with seeds, while 26 species were present in a nearby old meadow. The same was true 10 years after sowing (sown field: 42 species; old meadow: 57 species). Species diversity was also lower in the field sown with seeds than in the old meadow four and 10 years after sowing (data reported as Shannon-Weiner index). No statistical analysis was done in this study. In 1984, rye grass Lolium perenne and white clover Trifolium repens seeds were sown in a 3-ha field following agricultural abandonment. In June 1988–1994, vegetation cover was assessed using 40 randomly placed 0.5 x 0.5 m quadrats in the sown field and 30 quadrats in a nearby 1-ha meadow (>40 years old) under similar management (cut in July and grazed in August–October).

    (Summarised by: Philip Martin)

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