Collected Evidence: Collected Evidence: Re-wet moorland We have captured no evidence for the effects of re-wetting moorland on farmland wildlife. 'No evidence' for an action means we have not yet found any studies that directly and quantitatively tested this action during our systematic journal and report searches. Therefore we have been unable to assess whether or not the action is effective or has any harmful impacts. Please get in touch if you know of such a study for this action.  Collected, 24 Oct 2011 21:57:49 +0100Collected Evidence: Collected Evidence: Raise water levels in ditches or grassland Seven studies from Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK (two replicated controlled studies and two before-and-after studies) found that raising water levels in ditches or grassland was associated with increased bird numbers, breeding bird numbers, plant species that favour wet conditions, and invertebrate numbers or biomass in agricultural landscapes. Two replicated studies from the Netherlands and the UK found that raising water levels resulted in a net loss of plant species and did not affect lapwing foraging rate. A review found three studies reporting that re-wetting soils on old arable fields is not an effective method of reducing nutrient levels and restoring species-rich grassland. A replicated study from the UK found that unflooded pastures contained a high biomass of soil macroinvertebrates of importance to breeding wading birds. A controlled, randomized study from the Netherlands found that raising the water level resulted in a more rapid establishment of species typical of wet grassland, than vegetation management. A review of agri-environment schemes from the UK found studies that suggested more expensive agri-environment scheme options for wetland habitats, such as controlling water levels, were more effective at providing good habitat for wading birds than easier-to-implement options. Collected, 01 Nov 2011 21:14:13 +0000Collected Evidence: Collected Evidence: Remove flood defence banks to allow inundation One controlled before-and-after study from the UK found more bird territories and species on a stretch of river modified to allow inundation of river edges compared to a channelized section of river. One study from Belgium found that a combination of mowing and flooding resulted in increased plant species richness in meadow plots, but infrequently flooded, mown plots had more plant species than frequently flooded, non-mown plots.  Collected, 01 Nov 2011 21:17:40 +0000Collected Evidence: Collected Evidence: Manage heather by swiping to simulate burning A replicated controlled trial in Northern Ireland found that heather moorland subject to flailing to simulate burning had more plant species eight years after the management, than control unflailed plots, but fewer plant species than burned plots.  Collected, 14 Jan 2012 15:19:00 +0000Collected Evidence: Collected Evidence: Manage heather, gorse or grass by burning A long-term replicated controlled trial in Switzerland found that annual spring burning of calcareous grassland did not increase plant species richness relative to abandoned plots, after 15 years. A replicated controlled trial in Northern Ireland found that heather moorland subject to a single burn had more plant species eight years after the management, than control unburned plots.  Collected, 14 Jan 2012 15:22:28 +0000Collected Evidence: Collected Evidence: Create scrapes and pools Three studies from Sweden and the UK (including two site comparisons one of which was replicated) found that the creation of scrapes and pools provided habitat for a range of plant, invertebrate or bird species and resulted in increased aquatic macroinvertebrate diversity. One of these studies found constructed pools supported locally or nationally scarce species of plant and water beetle. A study in Sweden found that a combination of large surface area, high shoreline complexity and shallow depth resulted in increased bird, bottom-dwelling invertebrate and aquatic plant diversity. However there were fewer fish species than in natural wetlands. Two replicated studies from Ireland and the UK (one controlled paired study and a site comparison) found that bird visit rates were higher but invertebrate numbers varied in ditch-fed paired ponds compared with dry controls and total macroinvertebrate and beetle richness did not differ between artificial and natural ponds, although communities did differ.  Collected, 14 Jan 2012 15:30:46 +0000
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What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

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