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Habitat establishment on arable land: assessment of an agri-environment scheme in England, UK

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Nigel Critchley


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The Arable Stewardship Pilot Scheme in England provided farmers with options for creating a range of habitat types on arable land. The prescribed methods of habitat establishment were derived from previous research, but the outcomes were uncertain when applied across the two large areas encompassed by the scheme. Vegetation was sampled from 294 sites representing overwinter stubble, spring fallow, undersown cereals, grass leys, wildlife seed mixtures, conservation headlands, no-fertiliser conservation headlands, sown grass margins, naturally regenerated grass margins and uncropped cultivated margins. Vegetation characteristics and differences between habitat options were broadly as predicted. Uncontrolled environmental factors accounted for more variation than habitat option at naturally regenerated sites, but not at sites with sown cover. Creation of simple habitats on arable land appears to be achievable in agri-environment schemes because the general outcomes are predictable. At a local level, potential effects of environmental factors also need to be taken into account. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Critchley CNR, Allen DS, Fowbert JA, Mole AC, Gundrey AL

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Biological Conservation

Year: 2004

Volume: 119

Issue: 4

Pages: 429-442

ISSN (print): 0006-3207

ISSN (electronic): 1873-2917

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2004.01.004


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