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About this book
About this book
Changes in agricultural land use have led to a drastic decrease in grassland and heathland habitat in Britain. This book presents an illustrated and practical guide to Britain's range of natural and semi-natural grasslands and heaths. It examines topics of concern to the ecologist or habitat manager such as causes of the loss and deterioration of these habitats, including inappropriate management, eutrophication and climate change. It then evaluates opportunities for positive change, such as conservation, restoration and creation. A series of case studies illustrates the pressures on some lowland grassland and heathland habitat types and looks at ways to enhance them for biodiversity.
1. Introduction 1.1 Lowland grasslands and heathlands - some definitions 1.2 Current extent and location of lowland grasslands and heathlands in the UK 1.3 Why grasslands and heathlands? 1.4 The structure of this book 2. The Ecology of lowland grassland and heathland habitats 2.1 The importance of climate and soils 2.2 Some general characteristics of grasslands and heathlands 2.3 The plant species composition and classification of major grassland and heathland habitats 2.4 Fauna of lowland grasslands and heathlands 3 Management and conservation of grasslands and heathlands - problems and opportunities 3.1 The role of management 3.2 The history of grasslands and heathlands 3.3 Current problems and opportunities 3.4 Problems 3.5 Opportunities 3.6 Habitat maintenance and enhancement 3.7 Habitat restoration and expansion 4 Case studies 4.1 The response of two contrasting limestone grasslands to simulated climate change 4.2 Effects of elevated nitrogen and drought at Budworth Common 4.3 Manchester Airport second runway environmental mitigation programme 4.4 Landlife and creative conservation at Stockbridge meadow 4.5 Heathland management and restoration at Arne, Dorset 4.6 Conservation of the sand lizard (Lacerta agilis) in the UK. 5 Practical work 5.1 Experimental design 5.2 Health and safety 5.3 Woodlice and nutrient cycling 5.4 Metal toxicity 5.5 Vegetation description and NVC analysis 5.6 Responses to increasing levels of nitrogen 5.7 Vegetation height and invertebrate diversity 5.8 Insects on nettles and thistles 5.9 Seedbank assessment 5.10 Other options