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Essay on Conservation

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Essay on Conservation Defined as the protection and preservation of natural resources and of the environment, conservation is achieved though active intervention and management rather than passive preservation. Over a period of time, changes occur within communities that may lead to the development of a stable or climax community, this progression being known as succession. If the wide range of habitats representing the different stages of succession, active intervention is needed. Maintenance of grassland and the diversity of species, which inhabit it, is achieved through mowing, grazing, burning but the profile of plant and animal species present and the diversity achieved depend on the management strategy adopted. Mowing Mowing controls plant growth and when done by machine cuts to an even level, levelling off molehills or tussocks. Traditional mowing with a scythe retains some unevenness, providing useful habitats for invertebrates or ground nesting birds. Increased diversity of species can be achieved b varying the season and frequency of mowing in addition to the height of the cutter. The close cut of frequently mown grassland is inhospitable to invertebrates and encouraged by rough grass, which has pockets of bare ground or patches of uncut vegetation. ...read more.


Cattle are more selective of what they consume, mainly being tall and coarse plants, selecting these from certain patches, thus resulting in a sward which is uneven, increasing the diversity. Dung left by the cattle provide nutrients for the soil and trampling by the cattle can result in marshy, muddy areas, however this can be harmful if too much pressure is used. Horses consume and can eliminate species of vegetation from one area and yet leave most of the other species existing, therefore resulting in patches within the grassland. In wet grasslands, during the summer, the meadows are cut for hay and used for grazing and during the winter are flooded, attracting a range of birds, including waders, ducks, geese and swans. The area can be made to appear more attractive to birds if thee is variation in the surface, and it is important to have edges and pool margins in order to provide suitable conditions for waders and their chicks. However, prolonged flooding may result in an adverse effect on both the vegetation and on the invertebrates in the soil. ...read more.


The deliberate burning used as a way of management provides a way of controlling shrubby growth and other coarse vegetation, often in areas where it would be difficult to use machines or where the labour required would be too intense or expensive. It is often practiced in moorlands, these areas being dominated by scrubs such as heater and bilberry. The fire stimulates the growth of heather and controls the growth of shrubby seedlings and coarse herbaceous vegetation. The burning should occur in patches, creating a mosaic patterns with vegetation of different ages, encouraging a range of habitats, which in turn supports, a diversity of species. Furthermore, burning should not occur frequently. Obviously, damage is done, especially to fauna, reptiles and molluscs, which cannot escape. The heat of the fire can have harmful effects on the soil, moss and lichen. Burning in areas, which are home to bracken, would not be favourable since the burning would encourage the growth of undesirable spread of it. Burning is restricted to only occur between October and April, this protecting fauna and ensuring that there is a low risk of a fire burning out of control in the summer months. ...read more.

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