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The impact of organic and inorganic fertilizers on semi-natural neutral grasslands: Phase II - BD1456

The main objectives are to identify organic and inorganic fertilizer and liming practices that will maintain species-richness and the composition of unimproved mesotrophic/neutral grasslands, or allow the restoration of species-richness to agriculturally semi-improved neutral meadows. The agronomic output from such practices will also be measured. Randomized block experiments have been established on either lowland or upland unimproved or semi-improved hay meadows, and the botanical composition and community responses to a range of either annual or periodic inputs of farmyard manure (FYM), or equivalent amounts of nutrients applied as inorganic fertilizer will continue to be measured during phase II of this project. Botanical responses to the addition of lime will also be examined. Effects of applying a pelleted organic fertilizer as an alternative to FYM will be assessed. Botanical composition data from each treatment will be analyzed by univariate and multivariate statistical computer modelling to predict both the rate and direction of shifts in relation to NVC communities.
This project will provide a unique data set covering eight years of neutral grassland plant and community responses to different types and frequencies of nutrient input under management practices that are widely relevant to unimproved and semi-improved neutral grasslands in the UK. The results will underpin refinements to agri-environment management agreements concerning fertilizer and lime use on unimproved and semi-improved neutral meadows and ensure environmental objectives are achieved.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Role of organic fertilizers in the sustainable management of semi natural grasslands   (2624k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2005

To: 2008

Cost: £263,864
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Institute of Grassland and Environment Research (IGER), ADAS UK Ltd.
Environmental Protection              
Habitat conservation              
Nature conservation              
Fields of Study
Environmental Stewardship