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Biodiversity

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  • [THIS DATASET HAS BEEN WITHDRAWN]. This dataset contains vegetation survey data from an upland heath site in the Clocaenog Forest. Vegetation was surveyed in the experimental plots at the Climoor site in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. The vegetation at the site is a typical UK upland heathland, dominated by Calluna vulgaris, with Vaccinium myrtillus and Empetrum nigrum also being present in the vegetation understory. In each year, measurements were taken at a time period of maximum growth, which was late August/early September. This was done by pin point methodology, and data includes both pin hits as well as measurements converted into plant biomass. Individual species can be examined, as well as the different components of the higher plants (i.e. leaf, stem, flower). Full details about this dataset can be found at https://doi.org/10.5285/143e1a69-d4d7-4ae0-9650-6ffad9fd75b2

  • This dataset consists of vegetation abundance data from four experiments investigating the management of arable field options for rare plants. These experiments consisted of a margin management experiment, a herbicide screening experiment, a cereal headland experiment and a crop rotation experiment. All experiments were conducted between 2011 and 2014. The margin management experiment investigated the effects of different cultivation timing and methods and herbicide treatments on the vegetation species composition and abundance within arable field margins. The herbicide screening experiment investigated the effects of different herbicides and their timing of application on the condition of 15 species of rare arable plants. The cereal headland experiment investigated the effects of standard cereal sowing density versus reduced cereal sowing density, and of standard application of N fertilizer vs no application, on sown rare arable species and on the spontaneous weed flora of cereal stands. The crop rotation experiment was designed to provide baseline data for modelling population dynamics of rare arable species in relation to crop rotation scenarios. The data comes from a project funded by Defra (BD5204: Improving the management and success of arable plant options in ELS and HLS). Full details about this dataset can be found at https://doi.org/10.5285/4592780d-734f-4f62-9780-87afe27555d2

  • This dataset consists of stock (area) data for Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) Broad Habitats across Great Britain in 1978. Data are presented as areas of Broad (or Priority) Habitats within a set of 256 1km squares across Great Britain. The Countryside Survey is a unique study or 'audit' of the natural resources of the UK's countryside. The sample sites are chosen from a stratified random sample, based on a 15 by 15 km grid of GB. Surveys have been carried out in 1978, 1984, 1990, 1998 and 2007 by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, with repeated visits to the majority of squares. The countryside is sampled and surveyed using rigorous scientific methods, allowing us to compare new results with those from previous surveys. In this way we can detect the gradual and subtle changes that occur in the UK's countryside over time. In addition to habitat areas, vegetation species data, soil data, linear habitat data, and freshwater habitat data are also gathered by Countryside Survey. Full details about this dataset can be found at https://doi.org/10.5285/86c017ba-dc62-46f0-ad13-c862bf31740e

  • This web map shows positive plant habitat condition indicators across Great Britain (GB). This data provides a metric of plant diversity weighted by the species that you would expect and desire to have in a particular habitat type so indicates habitat condition. In each Countryside Survey 2007 area vegetation plot the number of positive plant habitat indicators (taken from a list created from Common Standards Monitoring Guidance and consultation with the Botanical society of the British Isles (BSBI)) for the habitat type in which the plot is located are counted. This count is then divided by the possible indicators for that habitat type (and multiplied by 100) to get a percentage value. This is extrapolated to 1km squares across GB using a generalised additive mixed model. Co-variables used in the model are Broad Habitat (the dominant broad habitat of the 1km square), air temperature, nitrogen deposition, sulphur deposition, precipitation and whether the plot is located in a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) (presence or absence data).

  • This dataset contains botanical data from 13 calcareous grassland, 13 heathland and 12 woodland sites within Dorset, UK. The sites were selected to represent a range of habitat types across a condition gradient as measured by levels of degradation from the original habitat. The original habitats were identified as being calcareous grassland, heathland or woodland from a survey conducted in the 1930s. Within heathland and calcareous grassland sites the percentage cover of all plant species were recorded within five 1m quadrat squares. Plants were recorded to species level where possible, or genus where species level was not possible. Covers of bare ground and litter were also recorded. Within woodlands plots, sampling was done slightly differently to enable recording of ground level plants and species within multiple canopy levels. Cover and presence of all herbaceous species were recorded in 2m quadrat squares, cover of tree seedlings (<1.5 m height) were recorded in 5m quadrat squares and ground-level cover of trunk of tree species if necessary were recorded in 10m quadrat squares. Heathland and calcareous grassland sites were visited in summer 2017 and woodland sites were visited in summer 2018. Full details about this dataset can be found at https://doi.org/10.5285/8a75395f-7858-40a2-8364-eb3482aeaad1

  • [THIS DATASET HAS BEEN WITHDRAWN]. This dataset includes measurements of annual growth of the higher plant species in the experimental plots at the Climoor field site in the Clocaenog Forest, NE Wales. Years include 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, and in each the measurements were taken in August (at a time of maximum veteative growth at the site). Data include maximum shoot elongation, leading shoot length, and number of flowers, leaves and branches. Full details about this dataset can be found at https://doi.org/10.5285/eb7599f4-35f8-4365-bd4a-4056ee6c6083

  • The dataset includes data on vegetation composition, flower counts, berry availability over winter, pollinator visitation rates, invertebrate, hedge structure and hedgerow regrowth from a set of long running hedgerow experiments. There were three experiments in total. Experiment 1 was based in Monks Wood, Cambridgeshire, and was used to investigate the long-term effects of timing and frequency of cutting on resource provision for wildlife. Experiment 2 was based at 5 sites across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Devon and was used to investigate the effect of timing, intensity and frequency of hedgerow cutting. Experiment 3 was based at 5 sites across Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire and was used to investigate the effects of different rejuvenation techniques on hedgerows. All three experiments were randomised plot experiments (full details of plots and their treatments can be found in the supporting documentation. The majority of the data was collected between 2010 and 2016 but for one experiment there is data from 2005. The long running hedgerow experiments had two linked aims focused on management to maintain and restore the hedgerow resource under the agri-environment schemes: • to examine the effects of simple cutting management regimes promoted by Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) and Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) on the quality and quantity of wildlife habitat, and food resources in hedgerows; and • to identify, develop and test low-cost, practical options for hedgerow restoration and rejuvenation applicable at the large-scale under both ELS and HLS. This research was funded by Defra (project number BD2114: Effects of hedgerow management and restoration on biodiversity) and managed by the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH). Full details about this dataset can be found at https://doi.org/10.5285/95259623-f0b6-4328-a0e3-4aec09ede5b5

  • The data set comprises biomass values and mineral nutrient values from experimental plots located at Sourhope, Scotland. On 5 occasions throughout each of the 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002 growing seasons, grass cuttings were collected from a 50 x 50 cm cell area from each of the 4 main sub-plots within each of a set of experimental main-plots, and biomass values calculated. In addition, mineral nutrient analysis was carried out for the July 1999 grass cuttings. The work was part of the NERC Soil Biodiversity Thematic Programme, which was established in 1999 and was centred upon the intensive study of a large field experiment located at the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute (now the James Hutton Institute) farm at Sourhope in the Scottish Borders (Grid reference: NT 8545 1963). During the experiment, the site was monitored to assess changes in above-ground biomass production (productivity), species composition and relative abundance (diversity). The primary aims of the Programme were to achieve simultaneously an understanding of the biological diversity of the soil biota and the functional roles played by soil organisms in key ecological processes. In seeking to achieve these aims, 24 separate research projects were funded to study soil structure, soil processes (such as the carbon and nitrogen cycles) and the roles of micro-fauna and flora (Bacteria, Nematoda, Protozoa and Fungi), microarthropods (including Collembola and Acari), invertebrate root feeders (Tipulid, Bidionid and Scarabeid larvae), meso-fauna (such as Enchytraeidae) and macro-fauna (including Megadrili, Mollusca and Coleoptera). Full details about this dataset can be found at https://doi.org/10.5285/1a278fbf-b8b2-472d-9100-5fb432095f63

  • The data set comprises vegetation species and abundance information, surveyed using a 50 x 50 cm point quadrat, from a selection of the plots within an experimental site at Sourhope, Scotland. The surveys were carried out in the summers of 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002. The data were collected as part of the NERC Soil Biodiversity Thematic Programme, established in 1999 and centred upon the intensive study of a large field experiment located at the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute (now the James Hutton Institute) farm at Sourhope in the Scottish Borders (Grid reference: NT8545019630). During the experiment, the site was monitored to assess changes in above-ground biomass production (productivity), species composition and relative abundance (diversity). Full details about this dataset can be found at https://doi.org/10.5285/c730867f-ffd7-4d2d-9dd0-e2f30a7dbbf6

  • Collated indices are a relative measure of butterfly abundance across sites monitored as part of the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme. Data from all survey sites (standard UKBMS transects, Wider Countryside Survey transects and targeted species surveys such as timed, larval web and egg counts) are used in the calculation of these indices. The statistics are presented as log10 values. These values are centred round an arbitrary value of 2 as a mean for the time series in order to help show which years are below or above average. Collated indices are calculated annually for each individual butterfly species that has been recorded on five or more sites in that year. Indices are calculated at UK level and at individual country level for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland where sufficient data are available. Based on this criterion, collated indices have been calculated for the entire time series from 1976 (UK, England and Wales), 1979 (Scotland) and 2004 (Northern Ireland) to the current year for the majority of species, but for some rarer species this has not been possible in some years, particular those in the first part of the time series. Collated indices are calculated using a log-linear model incorporating individual site indices from all monitored sites across the UK or country for a given species in a given year. The number of sites for each species ranges from 5 to several hundred or more and fluctuates from year to year. By 2010 almost 2,000 sites were monitored in total across the UK, with this number rising to more than 3,000 over the next decade. Collated indices are calculated so that we can determine how butterfly populations are changing over time across the UK. This data can be used, for example, to determine where to target conservation efforts and more generally the condition of the UK countryside. Butterflies are recognised as important indicators of biodiversity and environmental change, for example in UK and country Biodiversity Indicators, and have been used in numerous studies of the impacts of climate and habitat change on biodiversity. The UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme is organized and funded by Butterfly Conservation (BC), the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH), the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC). The UKBMS is indebted to all volunteers who contribute data to the scheme. This work was supported by the Natural Environment Research Council award number NE/R016429/1 as part of the UK-SCAPE programme delivering National Capability. Full details about this dataset can be found at https://doi.org/10.5285/657a64b2-8c34-43d2-a0f0-662ddf73c720