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Floristic composition and environmental determinants of roadside vegetation in North England.

By K.F. Akbar, William H.G. Hale and Alistair D.D. Headley

Abstract

noThe roadside vegetation in\ud some counties of north England (north and west\ud Yorkshire) was studied to determine the community\ud structure according to the British National\ud Vegetation Classification (NVC) and main\ud environmental factors influencing its composition.\ud The data from Phytosociological survey\ud (699 quadrats) and from the physico-chemical\ud analyses of 233 soil samples from 35 sites were\ud obtained. Both the classification (TWINSPAN &\ud MATCH) and ordination programs (Canonical\ud Correspondence Analysis) were used. The roadside\ud vegetation is mainly dominated by few grasses\ud (Arrhenatherum elatius, Festuca rubra, Dactylis\ud glomerata, Lolium perenne, Poa trivialis, Elymus\ud repens, Holcus lanatus) and their associated herbs\ud (Cirsium arvense, Heracleum sphondylium, Urtica\ud dioica). Five NVC Mesotrophic grassland communities\ud (Arrhenatheretum elatioris community\ud MG1, Lolium perenne-Cynosurus cristatus grassland\ud MG6, Lolium perenne leys MG7, Holcus lanatus-\ud Deschampsia cespitosa grassland MG9, Festuca\ud rubra-Agrostis stolonifera-Potentilla anserina\ud grassland MG11) and one Upland Festuca ovina-\ud Agrostis capillaris-Galium saxatile grassland, U4\ud were identified which in general, exhibited good\ud fit with the typical NVC units.\ud Altitude, pH, potassium, sodium and road\ud age were found to be the main variables affecting\ud the roadside vegetation. By relating the floristic\ud composition with ecological characteristics\ud of the roadside verges, three kinds of pattern of\ud variation are observed. The first pattern is related\ud to regional or geographical characteristics and\ud the second pattern of variation exists across the\ud width of the road verges showing a zonal pattern\ud of plant distribution. The third scale of pattern is\ud active at the local level including micro-environmental\ud conditions, e.g., local edaphic variables

Topics: Floristic composition, Environmental determinants, North Yorkshire, Northern England, West Yorkshire, Phytosociological survey, Soil samples, Roadside vegetation, British National Vegetation Classification, Environmental factors, Canonical analysis
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:bradscholars.brad.ac.uk:10454/4709
Provided by: Bradford Scholars
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