• Thomas Shore posted an update 6 days, 4 hours ago

    2004; Holtham, Matthews & Scholefield 2007). The study was conducted at Colt Park meadows, located in the UK Ingleborough National Nature Reserve (latitude 54°12′N, longitude 2°21′W) on Lolium perenne-Cynosorus cristatus grassland, northern England. The soil is a shallow brown-earth (average depth 28 cm) over limestone of moderate-high residual fertility (15 mg P2O2 L−1). Measurements were made on 36 plots of 3 × 3 m comprising two management treatments (and their controls) in a long-term multi-factorial grassland restoration experiment which have successfully increased plant species diversity, namely the cessation of NPK fertilizer application C59 wnt ic50 and the addition of seed mixtures (of R. bulbosus, L. corniculatus, Briza media and Geranium sylvaticum) (Fig. 1; Smith et al. 2003, 2008a). The long-term management treatments were distributed over three main blocks containing plots with the same historic grazing management (autumn and spring grazing) and no application of farmyard manure (Smith et al. 2000, 2003, 2008a). Each main block was divided into three sub-blocks historically with different hay-cut dates from 1990 until 1998 but all cut on 21 July since 1999 (Smith et al. 2008a). In 2004, these sub-blocks were used to install a new Trifolium pratense treatment, but in such a way that each different historic date of hay cut was represented at each level of the T. pratense seeding treatment so that both factors were not confounded. Each sub-block contained one of four long-term treatment combinations: cessation of or continued use of mineral fertilizer, with or without addition of seed mixtures. Recent seeding treatments of T. pratense comprised no seed addition (‘none’ in Fig. 1), or addition of 5·2 g m−2T. pratense seeds of one of two different batches in September 2004 and August 2005, with one batch yielding increase in T. pratense abundance (‘Establishment’ in Fig. 1) and the other one not (‘No establishment’ in Fig. 1). The identity and % cover of vascular plant species in the central 2 × 2 m of each plot was determined in June 2004 and 2006 according to Stace (1991). Initial vegetation recordings made in June 2004 showed no difference in cover of T. pratense (F2,4 = 0·50, P = 0·64) between the plots, whereas in 2006 one of the T. pratense seed addition treatments had resulted in a significant fourfold increase in T. pratense cover (F2,4 = 9·8, P = 0·028). Average cover significantly increased from 0·4% cover in the control (‘none’ in Fig. 1 or ‘no T. pratense’ in Figs 2–4) to 1·6% (P < 0·05) with the good T.