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dc.contributor.authorO hUallachain, Daire*
dc.contributor.authorFinn, John*
dc.contributor.authorKeogh, Blathnaid*
dc.contributor.authorFritch, R.*
dc.contributor.authorSheridan, Helen*
dc.identifier.citationÓ hUallacháin, D., Finn, J..A., Keogh, B., Fritch, R., & Sheridan, H. (2016). A comparison of grassland vegetation from three agri-environment conservation measures, Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research, 55(2), 176-191. doi:
dc.identifier.issn0791-6833 (print)
dc.description.abstractSemi-natural grassland habitats have declined significantly throughout Europe. To halt the decline, grassland conservation measures have been included in most European agri-environment schemes. This is the first study to compare the botanical composition of grassland habitats managed under the Irish Agri-Environment Options Scheme (AEOS). Sixty fields on drystock pastoral farms in receipt of agri-environment payments for grassland conservation were surveyed, with 20 fields being enrolled in each of the following AEOS options: Traditional Hay Meadow (THM), Species-Rich Grassland (SRG) and Natura 2000 species-rich grassland (Natura). The vegetation quality of sites enrolled in the Natura measure was higher than the quality of those enrolled in the THM and SRG measures. Natura sites had the greatest species richness, with a mean >40 species per site, which included approximately 17 species indicative of high botanical quality. Traditional Hay Meadows sites had the lowest species richness (mean: 29 species per site) and were dominated by species associated with improved grassland. Some THM sites had good levels of botanical richness and were similar in composition to Natura sites, with some Natura sites having lower vegetation quality, more similar to that of THM sites. Species-Rich Grassland had botanical richness that was intermediate between THM and Natura sites. A thorough assessment of the effectiveness of these measures was confounded by a lack of quantitative objectives for the target community composition to be attained. We discuss limitations and potential opportunities regarding the design, targeting, implementation and cost-effectiveness of these agri-environment measures.en_US
dc.publisherTeagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority), Irelanden_US
dc.relation.ispartofseriesIrish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research;vol 55
dc.rightsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States*
dc.subjectAgri-Environment Schemesen_US
dc.subjectGrassland botanical diversityen_US
dc.subjectgrassland conservationen_US
dc.subjectHigh Nature Value Farmingen_US
dc.subjectseminatural grasslanden_US
dc.titleA comparison of grassland vegetation from three agri-environment conservation measuresen_US
dc.contributor.sponsorTeagasc Walsh Fellowship Programmeen_US

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