An ecological basis for the management of grassland field margins

SE Spratt, A Cooper, TP McCann

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

    Abstract

    Field margin management of improved and semi-improved grasslands is an option ofagri-environment schemes in Northern Ireland (NI). Species communities of field marginsmay differ regionally and as a result of local environment and management factors. Thisregional scale study aimed to assess the plant species composition of the field margins ofmanaged grasslands to develop an ecological basis for their management. Multivariateanalysis showed that the field margin species assemblage has a significantly differentspecies composition to that of the grass field. Its species composition was determinedlargely by a soil nutrient gradient, in particular soil nitrogen. A management objective toincrease the plant species diversity value of field margins should aim to reduce the grassfield nutrient input intensity or the influence of nutrient inputs on the field margin itself,while maintaining a grazing regime.Key words: Grassland field margins, plant
    LanguageEnglish
    Number of pages45
    VolumeAspect
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2011

    Fingerprint

    range management
    edge effects
    grasslands
    species diversity
    Northern Ireland
    nutrients
    soil nutrients
    grazing
    grasses
    nitrogen
    soil

    Keywords

    • Grassland field margins
    • plant communities
    • management
    • Northern Ireland

    Cite this

    Spratt, SE., Cooper, A., & McCann, TP. (2011). An ecological basis for the management of grassland field margins.
    Spratt, SE ; Cooper, A ; McCann, TP. / An ecological basis for the management of grassland field margins. 2011. 45 p.
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    keywords = "Grassland field margins, plant communities, management, Northern Ireland",
    author = "SE Spratt and A Cooper and TP McCann",
    note = "Reference text: Baudrey J, Bunce R G H, Burel F. 2000. Hedgerows: An international perspective on their origin, function and management. Journal of Environmental Management 60:7–22. 52 Cooper A. 1986. The Northern Ireland Land Classification. Jordanstown: University of Ulster. Cooper A, McCann T, Meharg M. 2002. Habitat Change in the Northern Ireland Countryside: Summary Report of Northern Ireland Countryside Survey 2000. Belfast: Environment and Heritage Service. Cooper A, McCann T, Rogers D. 2009. Northern Ireland Countryside Survey 2007: Broad Habitat Change 1998–2007. Northern Ireland Environment Agency Research and Development Series No. 09/06. Belfast: NIEA. Cruickshank J G. 1997. Soil and Environment: Northern Ireland. Agricultural and Environmental Science Division, DANI and The Agricultural and Environmental Science Department. Belfast: Queen’s University. DARD. 2008. Countryside Management Scheme 2007–2013 Information Booklet. Rural Development Program. Belfast: DARD. DARD. 2010. Statistical Review of Northern Ireland Agriculture 2009. Northern Ireland: Policy and Economics Division, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Feehan J, Gillmor D A, Culleton N. 2005. Effects of an agri-environment scheme on farmland biodiversity in Ireland. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 107:275–286. Grime J P. 2001. Plant Strategies, Vegetation Processes and Ecosystem Properties. Oxford: UK: John Wiley and Sons. Grime J P, Hodgson J G, Hunt R. 2007. Comparative Plant Ecology: a functional approach to common British Plants. Colvend, UK: Castlepoint Press. Hill M O, Mountford J O, Roy D B, Bunce R G H. 1999. Ellenberg’s Indicator Values for British Plants. ECOFACT Volume 2 Technical Annex. Huntingdom: Institute of Terrestrial Ecology. Hill M O, Šmilauer P. 2005. TWINSPAN for Windows version 2.3. Huntingdom and Ceske Budejovice: Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and University of South Bohemia. Hunter W I. 1987. Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing. In Province, City & People, pp. 215–233. Eds R H Buchanan and B M Walker. British Association for the Advancement of Science. Belfast: Greystone Books. Le Coeur D, Baudrey J, Burel F. 1997. Field margin plant assemblages: variation partitioning between local and landscape factors. Landscape and Urban Planning 37:57–71. Le Coeur D, Baudrey J, Burel F, Thenail C. 2002. Why and how we should study field boundary biodiversity in an agrarian landscape context. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 89:23– 40. Marshall E J P, Moonen A C. 2002. Field margins in northern Europe: their functions and interactions with agriculture. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 89:5–21. McCann T, Rogers D, Cooper A. 2009. Northern Ireland Countryside Survey 2007. Field Methods and Technical Manual. Research and Development Series No 09/07. Belfast: NIEA. Rodwell J S. 1992. British Plant Communities: Volume 3, Grasslands and Montane Communities. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Smart S M, Marrs R H, Le Duc M G, Thompson K, Bunce R G H, Firbank L G, Rossall M J. 2006. Spatial relationships between intensive land cover and residual plant species diversity in temperate farmed landscapes. Journal of Applied Ecology 43:1128–1137. Sheridan H, Finn J A, O’Donovan G. 2009. Botanical rejuvenation of field margins and benefits for invertebrate fauna on a drystock farm in County Longford. Biology and Environment. Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 109:95–106. Stace C. 1997. New Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ter Braak C J F, Šmilauer P. 2002. Canoco for Windows, version 4.5. Wageningen, The Netherlands: Biometris-Plant Research International. Watson E V. 1981. British Mosses and Liverworts. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Woodcock B A, Potts S G, Tscheulin T, Pilgrim E, Ramsey A J, Harrison-Cripps J, Brown V K, Tallowin J R. 2009. Responses of invertebrate trophic level, feeding guild and body size to the management of improved grassland field margins. Journal of Applied Ecology 46:920–929.",
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    Spratt, SE, Cooper, A & McCann, TP 2011, An ecological basis for the management of grassland field margins. vol. Aspect.

    An ecological basis for the management of grassland field margins. / Spratt, SE; Cooper, A; McCann, TP.

    2011. 45 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

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    Spratt SE, Cooper A, McCann TP. An ecological basis for the management of grassland field margins. 2011. 45 p.