An ecological basis for the management of grassland field margins

SE Spratt, A Cooper, TP McCann

    Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


    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
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherAssociation of Applied Biologists
    Number of pages45
    ISBN (Print)0265-1491
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2011


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


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