Vegetation change from 1979 to 2008 at Chillingham Park in relation to the conservation of the Chillingham Wild Cattle

Bunce, Bob and Hall, Stephen (2013) Vegetation change from 1979 to 2008 at Chillingham Park in relation to the conservation of the Chillingham Wild Cattle. Northumbrian Naturalist, 75 . pp. 18-30. ISSN 0144-221X

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Abstract

Parks where the botanical interest of the sward has been retained are relatively unusual in the British Isles. Chillingham Park, northern England, has been managed primarily to conserve its native cattle breed and the sward has been of only secondary importance in conservation terms. A liming programme was in operation from 1980 to 2004 in order to secure the nutrition of the cattle herd. The relatively species-rich vegetation was surveyed in 1979; in 2008 plant species richness of sampled quadrats was found to have declined by 23%. Species characteristic of higher soil pH and fertility, increased light and decreased wetness had been favoured, with a decline in stress-tolerating species. Possible causes of these changes include liming and inputs of fixed atmospheric nitrogen. Few if any plant species have been completely lost, and grassland diversity is now the subject of conservation management.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Historic parks and gardens, Chillingham cattle
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C180 Ecology
C Biological Sciences > C210 Applied Botany
C Biological Sciences > C181 Biodiversity
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:5980
Deposited By: Stephen Hall
Deposited On:19 Jul 2012 09:43
Last Modified:02 Sep 2014 09:21

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