Maintaining upland floristic diversity whilst cutting for biomass production: the impact of the seed bank

John Corton, Iain Donnison, Michael Wachendorf, Mariecia Fraser

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


An annual cutting and biomass removal management regime increased the above ground floristic diversity (as measured by the Shannon Weiner index) in five semi-natural habitats across mid Wales over a three-year period, for the purpose of bioenergy generation. There was little evidence of the seed bank contributing to an increase in above ground plant species richness in the current study. However, the seed bank may have contributed to changes in dominance in the above ground vegetation. The implications of the low impact of the seed bank upon the above ground diversity in the current study are that the seed bank alone will not provide substantial resistance to plant community dominance. The seed bank may increase the above ground dominance of particular species that create seed prolificacy and with extended longevity. A cutting management regime may need to be consistently employed in order to counteract the dominance patterns that emerge from the soil seed bank, and the resultant biomass can potentially be processed for energy
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event19th EGF Symposium 2017: Grassland resources for extensive farming systems in marginal lands: major drivers and future scenarios - Sardinia, Italy
Duration: 07 May 201710 May 2017


Conference19th EGF Symposium 2017
Period07 May 201710 May 2017


  • floristic diversity
  • seed bank
  • cutting management
  • semi-natural habitat
  • species dominance


Dive into the research topics of 'Maintaining upland floristic diversity whilst cutting for biomass production: the impact of the seed bank'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this