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Assessing the effectiveness of scrub management at the landscape scale using rapid field assessment and remote sensing

Redhead, John; Cuevas-Gonzales, Maria; Smith, Geoffrey; Gerard, France; Pywell, Richard. 2012 Assessing the effectiveness of scrub management at the landscape scale using rapid field assessment and remote sensing. Journal of Environmental Management, 97. 102-108. 10.1016/j.jenvman.2011.12.005

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Abstract/Summary

Controlling scrub encroachment is a major challenge for conservation management on chalk grasslands. However, direct comparisons of scrub removal methods have seldom been investigated, particularly at the landscape scale. Effective monitoring of grassland scrub is problematic as it requires simultaneous information on large scale patterns in scrub cover and fine-scale changes in the grassland community. This study addressed this by combining analysis of aerial imagery with rapid field surveys in order to compare the effectiveness of four scrub management strategies on Defence Training Estate Salisbury Plain, UK. Study plots were sited within areas undergoing management and in unmanaged controls. Controls showed dramatic increases in scrub cover, with encroachment of a mean 1096 m2 per hectare over ten years. Whilst all management strategies were effective in reducing scrub encroachment, they differed in their ability to influence regeneration of scrub and grassland quality. There was a general trend, evident in both the floral community and scrub levels, of increased effectiveness with increasing management intensity. The dual methodology proved highly effective, allowing rapid collection of data over a range of variables and spatial scales unavailable to each method individually. The methodology thus demonstrates potential for a useful monitoring tool.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.jenvman.2011.12.005
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity > BD Topic 3 - Managing Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in a Changing Environment
CEH Sections: Pywell
Reynard
ISSN: 0301-4797
Additional Pages: Supplementary material online
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: The attached document is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Environmental Management. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Environmental Management, 97. 102-108. 10.1016/j.jenvman.2011.12.005
Additional Keywords: calcareous grassland, habitat restoration, image analysis, condition assessment
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 10 Jan 2012 12:08
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/13128

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