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The Nutrient-Budget of Horse Tracks on an English Lowland Heath

M. J. Liddle and L. D. Chitty
Journal of Applied Ecology
Vol. 18, No. 3 (Dec., 1981), pp. 841-848
DOI: 10.2307/2402375
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2402375
Page Count: 8
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The Nutrient-Budget of Horse Tracks on an English Lowland Heath
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Abstract

(1) Tracks were studied which passed through either Pteridium aquilinum or Calluna vulgaris dominated sites, with underlying podsols. (2) Vegetation was absent from the tracks and reduced at the edges in comparison with control areas 10 m from the track. (3) Pteridium aquilinum and Calluna vulgaris were replaced by Molinia caerulea as the dominant plant at the edges of tracks. (4) The soil from the track and track edge at the Pteridium site, contained significantly more nitrogen than did soil from the control areas. The track soil had more phosphorus than the control area at the Calluna site. (5) Festuca rubra, Poa pratensis and Urtica dioica were grown on the heath soils in a greenhouse. There were more seedlings and a greater biomass was produced when the plants were grown in soils from the tracks than when they were grown in soils from the control areas.

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