Redhead, J. et al

Vegetation survey of Brachypodium pinnatum herbicide control trials at the Martin Down National Nature Reserve (2012-2015)

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

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This dataset is available under the terms of the Open Government Licence

Format of the data: Comma-separated values (CSV)

You must cite: Redhead, J.; Nowakowski, M.; Ridding, L.; Wagner, M.; Hulmes, S.; Hulmes, L.; Amy, S.; McDonald, R.; Mitschunas, N.; Nuttall, P.; Peyton, J.; Pywell, R. (2019). Vegetation survey of Brachypodium pinnatum herbicide control trials at the Martin Down National Nature Reserve (2012-2015). NERC Environmental Information Data Centre.


© UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology


Study area
Temporal extent
2012-09-19    to    2015-07-20

Provenance & quality

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.


Redhead, J. W., Nowakowski, M., Ridding, L. E., Wagner, M., & Pywell, R. F. (2019). The effectiveness of herbicides for management of tor-grass (Brachypodium pinnatum s.l.) in calcareous grassland. Biological Conservation, 237, 280–290.

Correspondence/contact details

John Redhead
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Maclean Building, Benson Lane, Crowmarsh Gifford
OX10 8BB


Redhead, J.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Nowakowski, M.
Wildlife Farming Company
Ridding, L.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Wagner, M.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Hulmes, S.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Hulmes, L.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Amy, S.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
McDonald, R.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Mitschunas, N.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Nuttall, P.
Green Lane Ecology
Peyton, J.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Pywell, R.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Other contacts

NERC EDS Environmental Information Data Centre
NERC Environmental Information Data Centre
Rights Holder
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Additional metadata

Topic categories
Biota , Environment
Agriculture Brachypodium pinnatum Cycloxydim,  Ellenberg N,  Environmental survey Fluazifop-P-butyl,  glyphosate,  Propaquizafop,  Propyzamide,  Tepraloxydim,  Tor grass
Environmental Monitoring Facilities
Spatial representation type
Tabular (text)
Spatial reference system
WGS 84
Last updated
20 May 2022 10:41