Swards and structure: the interactions between farming practices and bird food resources in lowland grasslands

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

McCracken, D. I. and Tallowin, J. R. B. 2004. Swards and structure: the interactions between farming practices and bird food resources in lowland grasslands. Ibis. 146 (Supplement), pp. 108-114.

AuthorsMcCracken, D. I. and Tallowin, J. R. B.
Abstract

The ideal grassland to encourage plants and invertebrates suitable as food for farmland birds contains a mixture of grasses and broad-leaved plants with a range of vegetation heights and structures. However, as a result of agricultural intensification the majority of lowland grasslands in the UK now lack botanical and structural complexity. Plants within intensively managed swards are allowed little capacity to set seed, and the majority of invertebrates within these grasslands are either too small to be utilized by birds or inaccessible because of dense vegetation or impenetrable soils. Further research is required into the impact of different grassland management practices on the abundance and accessibility of bird food resources at both the field and the landscape level. The major challenge will be to identify changes to grassland management practices that provide significant biodiversity benefits and yet allow productive livestock farming systems to continue.

KeywordsOrnithology
Year of Publication2004
JournalIbis
Journal citation146 (Supplement), pp. 108-114
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1111/j.1474-919X.2004.00360.x
Open accessPublished as bronze (free) open access
Funder project or codeBehavioural and Community Ecology (BCE)
Project: 2411 5146
Project: BD 1435
Publisher's version
PublisherWiley
ISSN0019-1019

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