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Regeneration of Heather (Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull) at Different Ages and Seasons in North-East Scotland
G. R. Miller and John Miles
Journal of Applied Ecology
Vol. 7, No. 1 (Apr., 1970), pp. 51-60
Published by: British Ecological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2401611
Page Count: 10
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(1) The regeneration of heather (Calluna vulgaris) on peaty podsols at 120-220 m a.s.l. was studied by surveying patches burned during routine moor management and by cutting small plots experimentally. (2) This was done to define the influence of the age of the canopy and the season of burning or cutting on the rate and amount of regeneration. (3) Survey and experiment both showed that regeneration was most satisfactory from heather 6-10 years old and declined progressively with increasing age in older stands. This was probably due to a decrease in the number of centres from which regeneration could occur. (4) Regeneration was more prolific after burning in autumn than after burning in spring. By contrast, it was more prolific after cutting in spring than after cutting in autumn. (5) There are practical considerations which make it difficult to use cutting to encourage regeneration, but on suitable sites a combination of cutting and burning may be useful. Too frequent or too infrequent cutting or burning may have adverse long-term effects. In general it may be best to burn or cut every 11-15 years, but this will depend on the status of the heather, and on the local climate, soil and grazing pressure.
Journal of Applied Ecology © 1970 British Ecological Society