Study

Re-creation of heathland and acid grassland on improved pasture using top soil removal and sulphur amendments, Newlines and Hartland Farms, Dorset, England

  • Published source details Diaz A., Green I. & Tibbett M. (2007) Re-creation of heathland on improved pasture using top soil removal and sulphur amendments: Edaphic drivers and impacts on ericoid mycorrhizas. Biological Conservation, 141, 1628-1635

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Strip/disturb topsoil (alongside planting/seeding)

Action Link
Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

Add sulphur to soil (alongside planting/seeding)

Action Link
Shrubland and Heathland Conservation
  1. Strip/disturb topsoil (alongside planting/seeding)

    A replicated, controlled study in 2001–2006 in ten improved grasslands in Dorset, UK (Diaz et al. 2007) found that stripping the surface layers of soil, followed by spreading of heather Calluna vulgaris clippings increased cover of heather and gorse Ulex europaeus, and decreased the cover of perennial rye-grass Lolium perenne. After five years, areas where the soil surface had been stripped and heather clippings spread had higher cover of both heather and gorse (heather: 6%; gorse: 21%) than areas where soil was not stripped and heather clippings were not spread (heather: 0%; gorse: 0%). Plots where the soil surface had been stripped and heather clippings spread also had lower cover of perennial rye-grass (1%) than areas where soil had not been stripped and heather clippings were not spread (24%). In April 2001 soil was stripped to a depth of 10 cm in ten 400 m2 plots after which heather clippings were spread over the plots. Soil was not stripped and heather clippings were not spread in ten 2500 m2 plots. In June 2006 plant cover was assessed using ten 4 m2 quadrats randomly located in each plot.

    (Summarised by: Phil Martin)

  2. Add sulphur to soil (alongside planting/seeding)

    A replicated, controlled study in 2000–2006 in ten improved grasslands in Dorset, UK (Diaz et al. 2007) found that application of sulphur, followed by spreading of heather Calluna vulgaris clippings increased cover of heather in one of two cases and decreased the cover of perennial rye-grass Lolium perenne in one of two cases, but increased the cover of common bent Agrostis capillaris in one of two cases. In one of two cases, after five years, areas where sulphur had been applied and heather clippings spread had a higher cover of heather (heather: 24%) than areas where sulphur was not applied and heather clippings were not spread (heather: 0%). In one of two cases plots where sulphur was applied and clippings spread had lower cover of perennial rye-grass (0%) than areas where sulphur had not been applied and heather clippings were not spread (24%). However, in one of two cases cover of common bent was higher in areas where sulphur had been applied and clippings spread (34%) than areas where sulphur had not been applied and heather clippings were not spread (24%). In May 2000 and March 2001 sulphur was applied in twenty 2500 m2 plots. Heather clippings were spread on these plots in November 2001. Sulphur was not applied and heather clippings were not spread in ten 2500 m2 plots. In June 2006 plant cover was assessed using ten 4 m2 quadrats randomly located in each plot.    

    (Summarised by: Phil Martin)

Output references

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, terrestrial mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 18

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.


Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust