Vegetation data from botanical field survey of trials of selective herbicide impacts on tor-grass (Brachypodium pinnatum s.l.) control at Martin Down NNR, England. The data relate to 50 cm × 50 cm quadrats placed in herbicide treated and control plots in a replicated experiment, including a baseline (pre-treatment) survey in 2012 and three surveys after repeat treatments in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Data include percentage cover of plant species, bare ground and plant groups (total grasses, total forbs) as well as data on plant indictor status and Ellenberg N value. The data cover areas of both sparse B .pinnatum cover, with the goal of preventing B. pinnatum from increasing to dominance, and dense B .pinnatum cover, with the goal of reducing B. pinnatum cover to a level which allowed the reestablishment of other calcareous grassland species. Data have been used to analyse herbicide impacts on the cover of target species B. pinnatum and non-target species groups (other grasses, forbs, positive indicators, negative indicators, arable indicators), as well as community level analyses (Ellenberg-N weighted cover, DCA).
Publication date: 2019-06-27
Trial plots were established at Martin Down (50.975 N, 1.937 W) in summer 2012 on calcareous grassland containing two levels of B. pinnatum cover - ‘dense’ and ‘sparse’. For each level, three experimental blocks were marked out, each consisting of seven plots (each plot =3 m wide x 10 m long). Within each block, each plot was assigned a different herbicide or management application at random.
Five selective (Propaquizafop, Tepraloxydim, Fluazifop-P-butyl, Cycloxydim, Propyzamide) and one broad-spectrum herbicide (glyphosate) were selected on the basis of their efficacy for controlling perennial grasses in agricultural and/or forestry applications. All herbicides were applied evenly across the entire plot.The control experimental management in both sparse and dense areas was a single annual cut in late summer (July-August) with a mechanical mower which removed cut material.
Vegetation monitoring took place in July-September of 2012 (before all herbicide applications to provide a baseline), 2013, 2014 and 2015. Within each plot, vegetation surveys were conducted by placing five 50 cm × 50 cm quadrats at approximately 2 m intervals (i.e. vertices of a “W”-shaped transect through the plot). Quadrats avoided the outermost 50 cm of each plot, where there was an increased potential for spray drift from neighbouring plots. Within each quadrat, the percentage cover of B. pinnatum, all vascular plants and bare ground were recorded. In the first, third and fourth quadrat, all plants were recorded to species level, whilst in the second and fifth quadrat percentage cover was recorded per group level only (grasses and forbs), as a result of limited time and funding for survey. For further details please see the supporting documentation.