Norton, B.A. et al

Biodiversity responses to vegetation height and diversity in perennial meadow plantings in two urban areas in the UK

The data describe the ecological responses (invertebrate diversity and biomass, plant diversity, soil characteristics and microbial diversity) to experimental manipulation of floristic diversity and vegetation height in planted urban meadows. The experiment consisted of a replicated set of nine different perennial meadow treatments, sown in six public urban greenspaces in the towns of Bedford and Luton, in the UK.

Publication date: 2019-06-25

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

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

You must cite: Norton, B.A.; Bending, G.D.; Clark, R.; Corstanje, R.; Dunnett, N.; Evans, K.L.; Grafius, D.R.; Gravestock, E.; Grice, S.M.; Harris, J.A.; Hilton, S.; Hoyle, H.; Lim, E.; Mercer, T.G.; Pawlett, M.; Pescott, O.L.; Richards, J.P.; Southon, G.E.; Warren, P.H. (2019). Biodiversity responses to vegetation height and diversity in perennial meadow plantings in two urban areas in the UK. NERC Environmental Information Data Centre.


© University of Sheffield

© Cranfield University

© University of Warwick


Study area
Temporal extent
2013-03-01    to    2016-03-01

Provenance & quality

Experimental plots (of 250 square metres at all except one site) were established, by herbicide application, rotovation and sowing in existing amenity grassland, in 2013. Data were collected in the second season after establishment. Plant diversity was assessed by quadrat sampling within experimental plots, and by visual surveys. Plant identification is primarily to species level. Invertebrate diversity was assessed from collections made by vacuum sampling, sweep netting and visual surveys (summer) and for some plots by hand searching (winter). Sampled material was preserved and subsequently sorted and identified in the laboratory. Invertebrate identification is primarily to order level, with the exception of the Coleoptera, which are to family level. Soil condition and microbial diversity was assessed from multiple soil cores from each experimental plot (for a subset of sites), with subsequent laboratory analysis of C, N, pH, and microbial DNA and PLFA. Samples were processed in Sheffield (invertebrates), Cranfield (soil characteristics, PLFA), and Warwick (DNA). Quality assurance was managed by the senior researcher carrying out the processing in each laboratory, overseen by the principal and co-investigators of the project.

Correspondence/contact details

Professor Philip H Warren
University of Sheffield
Department of Animal and Plant Sciences
S10 2TN


Norton, B.A.
University of Sheffield
Bending, G.D.
University of Warwick
Clark, R.
University of Sheffield
Corstanje, R.
Cranfield University
Dunnett, N.
University of Sheffield
Evans, K.L.
University of Sheffield
Grafius, D.R.
Cranfield University
Gravestock, E.
University of Sheffield
Grice, S.M.
Cranfield University
Harris, J.A.
Cranfield University
Hilton, S.
University of Warwick
Hoyle, H.
University of Sheffield
Lim, E.
University of Sheffield
Mercer, T.G.
Cranfield University
Pawlett, M.
Cranfield University
Pescott, O.L.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Richards, J.P.
University of Sheffield
Southon, G.E.
University of Sheffield
Warren, P.H.
University of Sheffield

Other contacts

Environmental Information Data Centre
NERC Environmental Information Data Centre

Additional metadata

Topic categories
Biota , Environment , Geoscientific Information , Society
amenity grassland,  Bedford,  Biodiversity ecology,  green space,  invertebrate diversity,  Luton,  meadow,  microbial diversity,  park,  plant diversity,  soil,  Soil urban,  vegetation structure
Species Distribution
Natural Environment Research Council Award: NE/J015369/1
Natural Environment Research Council Award: NE/J015067/1
Spatial representation type
Tabular (text)
Spatial reference system
WGS 84
Last updated