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Establish methods for rapid depletion of soil nutrient availability in extensively managed grasslands within ESAs - BD0310

It has been reported that soil nutrient availability in temperate grasslands is a major factor controlling wild flower diversity; high nutrient availability, together with high herbage production and domination by competitive plant species, result in low floristic diversity in agricultural grasslands. This study will aim to establish environmentally acceptable and cost effective methods for rapid depletion of soil nutrient availability in extensively managed ESA grasslands in order to restore/re-introduce wild flower diversity. Laboratory experiments will examine soil amendment strategies that produce rapid in situ immobilization of phosphorus, enhanced levels of which have been implicated in inhibiting re-establishment of a number of grassland communities. These experiments will be followed by field trials conducted in the Exmoor and Somerset Levels ESAs, which will establish appropriate soil fertility status that should exist before wild flower species are sown so that new grasslands are not dominated by competitive species. Results will be used to publish guidelines for site preparation of ESAs within which the re-establishment of meadowland is an objective.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1994

To: 1997

Cost: £86,414
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Institute of Grassland and Environment Research (IGER)
Fields of Study
Environmental Stewardship