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The distribution of woodland plant species in some Shropshire hedgerows

Biological Conservation

Abstract

A total of 66 samples of roadside hedgerow were examined in a 200 km2 area of Shropshire not far from the Welsh border. The mean numbers of vascular plant species in samples of increasing length could be expressed as 17·2 × (length of hedgerow in metres/2)0·2 5. This equation varied somewhat between samples, but not greatly, and the correlation between this variation and the distance to the nearest wood was not significant at the 5% probability level. Association analysis of the floristic data, did, however, provide a fairly clear division into hedgerows with some ‘woodland’ species and hedgerows with few or no ‘woodland’ species, and this difference was not accompanied by any corresponding difference in apparent age of the hedgerow. It is concluded that these ‘woodland’ species do not spread readily throughout the hedgerow network, and that hedgerows do not appear to act as efficient ‘corridors’ for the passage of such plants.

Author(s): Helliwell, DR

Journal: Biological Conservation

Year: 1975

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