Options for wide scale enhancement of grassland biodiversity under the Entry Level Scheme

Pywell, R.F. ORCID:; Woodcock, B.A. ORCID:; Orr, R.; Tallowin, J.R.B.; McEwen, I.; Nowakowski, M.; Bullock, J.M. ORCID: 2010 Options for wide scale enhancement of grassland biodiversity under the Entry Level Scheme. In: AAB 100. Agri-environment schemes - what have they achieved and where do we go from here? Association of Applied Biologists, 125-132. (Aspects of Applied Biology, 100).

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Permanent grasslands receiving low fertiliser inputs account for the largest area of land managed under the agri-environment schemes. However, it is likely they currently provide minimal benefits for biodiversity or ecosystem services. In 2008 a multi-factorial experiment was established to develop simple, low cost options to enhance biodiversity and ecosystem services for grassland. Factors investigated were seed mixture composition (grass, grass+legume, grass+legume+forb), seed bed preparation (minimal cultivation vs conventional ploughing), and the type (cut vs grazed) and intensity (typical vs summer rested) of management. There were large differences in the composition of the plant community between different seed mixtures. Deep cultivation significantly increased cover of non-leguminous forbs. Cutting increased cover of legumes and non-legumes compared with grazing. Abundance and diversity of pollinators was lowest in the grass only seed mix. Grazing had a negative effect on pollinators compared with cutting. Finally, reducing intensity of cutting or grazing enhanced pollinator diversity.

Item Type: Publication - Book Section
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity > BD Topic 3 - Managing Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in a Changing Environment > BD - 3.2 - Develop and test practical measures to ameliorate the effects ...
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Pywell
Additional Keywords: Ecosystem services, biodiversity, legumes, pollination, grassland
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Ecology and Environment
Related URLs:
Date made live: 29 Apr 2010 11:00 +0 (UTC)

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