Conclusion

For the attempt to re-create chalk grasslands this study has shown that there are parallels between the plants and the beetles in how they respond to management used to introduce seeds. In both cases the use of a grass-only seeds mix appears to have had an overall detrimental effect in terms of either enhancing species richness or the overall success of recreation. Similarly, high rates of application of local provenance seeds have proved crucial to the success of re-creation for both the plants and beetles, although while the plants benefit from both methods, hay spreading proved to be the superior method for the beetles. Introducing the widest possible breath of plant species is likely to be crucial to promoting recreation, and in this sense the use of multiple seed harvesting methodologies, potentially combined with multiple donor sites and several harvesting times throughout the year would potentially be of greatest benefit (Bakker and Berendse 1999; Willems 2001; Walker et al. 2004). However, such a combination of approaches may be unrealistic given financial restrictions common to most re-creation attempts (Walker et al. 2004). Independent of this restriction, consideration of the beetles in addition to the plants has served to highlight management practices that would be likely to promote re-creation of a functional system with more than one trophic level.

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