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 ORCID:, 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 Discrete Keywords: field margins, plant traits, wildflower establishment, sowing success, SERG
Subjects: Q Science > QK Botany
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Science and the Environment
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Depositing User: Duncan Westbury
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 11:13
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2020 13:53

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