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Restoration of ditch bank plant diversity : the interaction between spatiotemporal patterns and agri-environmental management

Promotor: G.R. de Snoo, Co-promotor: C.J.M. Musters

Xin Leng
26 May 2010
Thesis in Leiden Repository

The research focused on two main objectives:

  1. Understanding the processes behind the spatial and temporal patterns of plant diversity on ditch banks
  2. Identifying options for the conservation and restoration of plant species diversity on ditch banks

The spatial and temporal variation of plant diversity have been explained primarily on the basis of dispersal processes, which imply that conservation management should focus on facilitating dispersal between sites. Nature reserves can act as a source of seeds for the surrounding areas, the presence of nature reserves, therefore, should be given greater consideration in management policies. In view of the large areas of agricultural lands in the Netherlands, these areas can contribute considerably to the country’s overall plant diversity. Agri-environmental schemes (AES) should therefore consider large-scale contributions to diversity instead of focus entirely on the farm scales. We suggest that farmers implementing AES would be more successful if they selected ditch banks adjacent to those where a similar management regime is already in force.

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