The natural regeneration of calcareous grassland at a landscape scale: 150 years of plant community re-assembly on Salisbury Plain, UK

  • Redhead J
  • Sheail J
  • Bullock J
 et al. 
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Abstract

Questions What is the time-scale for natural regeneration of calcareous grassland? Is this time-scale the same for individual plant species, plant community composition and functional traits? Location Defence Training Estate Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, UK. Methods We investigated the rate of natural regeneration of species-rich calcareous grassland across a 20 000-ha landscape. We combined a large-scale botanical survey with historic land-use data (6–150 yrs before present) and examined differences between grassland age classes in the occurrence of individual plant species, plant community composition and plant community functional traits. Results Many species showed a significant association with grasslands over 100 yrs old. These included the majority of those defined elsewhere as calcareous grassland indicators, although some appeared on grasslands

Author-supplied keywords

  • Agri-environment
  • Chalk grassland
  • Chronosequence
  • GIS
  • Historic land use
  • Indicator species
  • Restoration

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Authors

  • John W. Redhead

  • John Sheail

  • James M. Bullock

  • Andrea Ferreruela

  • Richard F. Pywell

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