University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

The Influence of Seed Mix and Management on the Performance and Persistence of Sown Forbs in Buffer Strips

Westbury, Duncan, Harris, S., Brown, V.K. and Potts, S.G. (2018) The Influence of Seed Mix and Management on the Performance and Persistence of Sown Forbs in Buffer Strips. Aspects of Applied Biology, 139. pp. 23-31. ISSN 0265-1491

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A popular option under agri-environmental schemes throughout Europe has been the introduction of buffer strips adjacent to field boundaries. Buffer strips are usually established using grass-only seed mixes, or through natural regeneration. As a consequence, their function and biodiversity value might be limited due to a low presence of desirable forb species. Given the financial barrier of using forb-rich seed mixes, there is a need to identify species that establish reliably in parallel with management options that encourage their persistence. In a 5-year study across three different sites we investigated the responses of 32 different forb species sown in two different grass-based seed mixes tailored to soil type. Generally, there was an increase in sown forb cover with time, and this effect was greatest in plots sown with fine-grasses treated with an application of graminicide or an annual cut. We have identified a suite of ten forb species that are likely to establish and persist in buffer strip habitats.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

Proceedings of conference titled: Ecosystem and Habitat Management: Research, Policy, Practice

Held at the University of Worcester on 27-28 March 2018
Organised by Association of Applied Biologists

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Uncontrolled Keywords: field margins, plant traits, wildflower establishment, sowing success
Subjects: Q Science > QK Botany
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Science and the Environment
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Duncan Westbury
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 11:13
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2018 08:26

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