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The restoration of neglected hedges: a comparison of management treatments

Biological Conservation

Abstract

Little information exists on appropriate techniques for restoring degraded hedges. In this study different hedgerow types were subject to coppicing at ground level and pollarding at 60 cm to compare treatments most suitable for returning neglected hedges to a manageable dense structure. Survivorship of the treated stools. the number of new shoots produced and the length of shoots were measured. Analysis of the results showed that, for most species, the pollarding treatment produced better survivorship with both longer shoots and a greater number of shoots per stool than coppiced stools. From these results it is clear that a blanket management prescription of coppicing to restore hedgerows is not sufficient due to the varying responses shown by the different species; beech Fagus sylvatica L and hornbeam Carpinus betulus L for example showed a poor response to coppicing. It is recommended that other measures, including the planting up of gaps and hedge laying, may need to be incorporated into an overall restoration and maintenance programme in order to optimize the structure and function of hedgerows. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Author(s): Croxton, PJ; Franssen, W; Myhill, DG; Sparks, TH

Journal: Biological Conservation

Year: 2004

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