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What goes wrong? Why the restoration of beetle assemblages lags behind plants during the restoration of a species rich floodplain meadow

Woodcock, B.A.; McDonald, A.W.. 2010 What goes wrong? Why the restoration of beetle assemblages lags behind plants during the restoration of a species rich floodplain meadow. Fritillary, 5. 21-30.

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Abstract/Summary

With under 1500 ha of species rich flood-plain meadows (Alopecurus - Sanguisorba MG4 grassland) remaining in England and Wales there is a great potential for restoration to re-establish and extend areas of this habitat. Restoration has conventionally considered only the plant communities that define these flood-plain meadows; however there are many other biotic and abiotic elements that must be considered if restoration is to be successful. In this paper we consider how restoration management used during the re-establishment of such flood-plain meadows will affect not only the plant, but also a dominant component of the invertebrate communities, the beetles. While both the plants and beetles benefit from hay cut followed by aftermath grazing, there is evidence that beetle communities lag behind the plants in the success achieved during restoration. We attribute this to fundamental differences in the way establishment of plants and beetles are promoted during restoration, specifically that the plants are artificially introduced as seed, whereas colonisation by beetles is by natural immigration. We suggest that this may have important long term consequences for restoration, namely that while a restored grassland may show strong floristic similarity to that of target flood-plain meadows, such similarity may be superficial and not seen for other trophic levels.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity > BD Topic 1 - Observations, Patterns, and Predictions for Biodiversity
CEH Sections: Pywell
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Full text can be accessed via the OFFICIAL URL link
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Related URLs:
Date made live: 13 Jan 2011 15:32
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/6373

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