Heather Moorland

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  • Effects human Activity on Succession (Plagioclimax - Heather Morrland)
    • Adaptions
      • Old wood = dense cover reduce light below plant = less competition
      • Small leaves sunken stomata, thick cuticles = reduce transpiration
      • Roots form certain fungi = help seedlings grow in poor nutrients by decomposing matter.  Fungi passes onto plant.
    • Social History
      • !5,000 years ago woodland.
      • Stone age - people in uplands 'hunter gatherer' manipulate forest by burning clearings = more animals
      • 5,000 BC more organised farming wider woodland clearance. Quality soil deteriorated.
        • Sour soils blanket peat & heath spread But still grazed & rabbits = suppress vegetation.
    • Grouse Moors
      • Rich flora and fauna
      • 60% Site specials scientific interest
      • £9/10 on sustainable management private pocket
      • Moorland Association = loss heather haltered recovered 57,000 last decade
      • Aim return heather south of Scottish boarder
      • Grouse shooting = loss 70% lower
      • Red listed black grouse fastest declining in UK. Stable in North because gamekeeper's control predators
      • More carbon stored in peat in UK than forest France & Britain management =  carbon locked in
    • Management
      • Heather burning
        • kept young, (autumn-spring), rotational cycle (7 years),
        • only when peat wet = no loss, wind light = constant movement = germinate heather seeds quickly
        • old = cover for gourse. Young = fo0d birds & sheep
      • Sheep
        • Most of income, clear heather snow in winter, need constant shepherding = no damage
        • correct injections = tick mops
      • Predator
        • Controlling = grouse 3.5X more likely have chick
        • Foxes shot, Larsen trap (foxes), 'live traps = release accidents
        • Keppered moors = 5X likely birds abundant
      • Bracken
        • takes over heather 5% pa, kills vegetation (heather)  poisonous animals
        • Sprayed mid July to end August. Expensive so must keep grouse shooting going.
      • Re-seeding
        • areas harvested need work restore scars. 3 methods
          • Transplanting - whole heather plants move area (time/£/labour)
          • Brashing - cut to ground level, move allow germination
          • Harvesting seed only - scarified soil, scatter seeds onto soil
      • Beetle
        • feeds heather and lays eggs, = invade heather. management = least damage
        • can advocate burning to when eggs hatch (DEFRA licence)///mow heather = eggs die sunlight///burn early next year for good growth
      • Grouse shooting
        • Sustainable income for uplands, only surplus
        • 'shooting days' = income £15.2m
        • employment 350 gamekeepers & 1,500 jobs
    • General Knowledge (Introduction)
      • Semi-natural habitat (plagio-climax) evolved due to natural and human influences
      • Rarer than rainforest, 75% in Briitain. 90% in national park. 49% EU special area (plants & birds)
      • Managed for Red grouse one of largest habitats protected
    • How
      • UK once covered by Deciduous woodland, some heather. forest removed. Heather dominant. sheep = no woodland
      • Managed burning = encourage roots,

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