Grassland restoration on landfill sites in the East Midlands, United Kingdom: an evaluation of floral resources and pollinating insects

Sam Tarrant, Jeff Ollerton, Md Lutfor Rahman, Joanna Tarrant, Duncan McCollin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Pollinators are declining in Europe due to intensification of agriculture, habitat loss and fragmentation. Restored landfill sites are a significant potential reserve of semi-natural habitat, so their conservation value for supporting populations of pollinating insects was here examined by assessing whether the plant and pollinator assemblages of restored landfill sites are comparable to reference sites of existing wildlife value. Floral characteristics of the vegetation and the species richness and abundance of flower-visiting insect assemblages were compared between nine pairs of restored landfill sites and reference sites in the East Midlands of the United Kingdom, using standardized methods over two field seasons. No differences were found between the restored landfill and reference sites in terms of species richness or abundance of plants in flower and both types of site had similar assemblages of pollinators. However, plant and insect assemblages differed across the season, with species richness and abundance being lower for the restored landfill sites in the spring and higher in the autumn compared to the reference sites. The results indicate that in this region, landfill sites are being restored to a state comparable to that of the reference sites with regards to their provision of floral resources and the associated insect pollinator assemblages. Since there are currently 2,200 working landfill sites in England and Wales, covering 28,000 ha, and closing at a rate of 100 per year, this is potentially a significant reserve of land that could be restored
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)560-568
Number of pages9
JournalRestoration Ecology
Volume21
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2013

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landfill
grassland
insect
pollinator
resource
species richness
flower visiting
habitat loss
habitat fragmentation
restoration
evaluation
flower
autumn
agriculture
vegetation
habitat

Keywords

  • Biodiversity
  • brown-field
  • flower-visiting
  • habitat
  • pollinator
  • restored

Cite this

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title = "Grassland restoration on landfill sites in the East Midlands, United Kingdom: an evaluation of floral resources and pollinating insects",
abstract = "Pollinators are declining in Europe due to intensification of agriculture, habitat loss and fragmentation. Restored landfill sites are a significant potential reserve of semi-natural habitat, so their conservation value for supporting populations of pollinating insects was here examined by assessing whether the plant and pollinator assemblages of restored landfill sites are comparable to reference sites of existing wildlife value. Floral characteristics of the vegetation and the species richness and abundance of flower-visiting insect assemblages were compared between nine pairs of restored landfill sites and reference sites in the East Midlands of the United Kingdom, using standardized methods over two field seasons. No differences were found between the restored landfill and reference sites in terms of species richness or abundance of plants in flower and both types of site had similar assemblages of pollinators. However, plant and insect assemblages differed across the season, with species richness and abundance being lower for the restored landfill sites in the spring and higher in the autumn compared to the reference sites. The results indicate that in this region, landfill sites are being restored to a state comparable to that of the reference sites with regards to their provision of floral resources and the associated insect pollinator assemblages. Since there are currently 2,200 working landfill sites in England and Wales, covering 28,000 ha, and closing at a rate of 100 per year, this is potentially a significant reserve of land that could be restored",
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Grassland restoration on landfill sites in the East Midlands, United Kingdom: an evaluation of floral resources and pollinating insects. / Tarrant, Sam; Ollerton, Jeff; Rahman, Md Lutfor; Tarrant, Joanna; McCollin, Duncan.

In: Restoration Ecology, Vol. 21, No. 5, 01.09.2013, p. 560-568.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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