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The nature value of the ditch vegetation in peat areas in relation to farm management
Twisk, W.; Noordervliet, M.A.W.; ter Keurs, W.J. (2003). The nature value of the ditch vegetation in peat areas in relation to farm management. Aquat. Ecol. 37(2): 191-209
In: Aquatic Ecology. Springer: Dordrecht; London; Boston. ISSN 1386-2588, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Agriculture; Aquatic plants; Conservation; Dredging; Nutrients (mineral); Peat; Netherlands [Marine Regions]; Fresh water

Authors  Top 
  • Twisk, W.
  • Noordervliet, M.A.W.
  • ter Keurs, W.J.

Abstract
    Farmers can play an important role in enhancing the diversity of plant species in ditches, since they carry out most of the management. Little is known about the measures farmers can take to enhance aquatic biodiversity in ditches. Therefore, a field study was set up to determine how dredging, ditch cleaning, and nutrient supply in the adjacent fields affect the floristic values of the ditch vegetation in peat areas. A total of 240 ditches on 84 dairy farms were selected, to establish the effect of ditch cleaning, dredging, and nutrient supply. Generalised linear modelling was used to determine the most relevant factors, and to obtain quantitative relations between those factors and two indices of floristic value. Ditch management, field management, and water management were found to affect the floristic values of the ditch vegetation. Increasing the water depth proved to be the most cost-effective measure. Further improvements can be obtained by choosing certain machines or specific management periods, or reducing the N supply. The effect of the P supply is not yet sufficiently clear. The water boards can enhance floristic values by raising the ditch water table and by lowering the Cl-concentration in the ditches.

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