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Water regime requirements of the native flora - with particular reference to ESAs - BD0209

Description
Quantitative data relating to water regime requirements of native wetland flora in Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs) of the UK is scarce. This study will provide quantitative measurements of plant tolerances in ESAs with regard to formulation of ESA prescriptions, as well as for habitat management. The current plant species and communities database, held by Silsoe College, will be expanded to produce a more comprehensive list of floral species and communities and will be developed for use on different soil types and in different climatic zones. Critical periods of the year in which plants are most sensitive to stresses induced by drought or flooding will be estimated, while plant tolerances will be quantified. Water regime prescriptions which best suit conservation and farming requirements in ESAs will be designed and developed and a methodology for assessing the range of possible habitats on a given site to allow planning for biodiversity will be formulated. The study will provide a quantitative understanding of plant water requirements with respect to ecological optima and tolerance ranges and will help to explain the extent to which a site’s hydrology determines its plant community. Results from the project may also form the basis for hydrologists and water engineers to develop standard techniques for ESA management as well as recreation of habitats.
Objective
To expand the current database, held by Silsoe College, to produce a more comprehensive listing of plant species and communities . To develop the above database for use on different soil types and in different climatic zones. To estimate the critical periods of the year when plants are most sensitive to stresses induced by drought or flooding and to quantify their tolerances. To design and develop water regime prescriptions which may best suit conservation and farming requirements in ESAs. To develop a methodology for assessing the range of possible habitats on a given site, to allow planning for biodiversity.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1994

To: 1997

Cost: £180,095
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - Silsoe College
Keywords
              
Fields of Study
Environmental Stewardship