The impact of agricultural change and farming practices on farmland trees and hedgerows as a landscape and ecological resource, with specific focus on Kent

Dicker, M. (2016) The impact of agricultural change and farming practices on farmland trees and hedgerows as a landscape and ecological resource, with specific focus on Kent. M.Sc. thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University.

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Abstract

A decline in the length of hedgerow boundaries and number of farmland trees in the agricultural landscape triggered the destruction and deterioration of many important habitats, species and their specialised microhabitats. This research studied two contrasting physiographic regions, the Low Weald and the Downs in Kent, to identify the extent of these losses. It was hypothesized that changes in the agricultural landscape has been affected by the modification and development of the agricultural system post-World War and that these changes would differ between the two physiographic regions. This research confirmed that post-World War, the length of hedgerow boundaries has declined and even with environmental incentives to increase the planting and maintenance of hedgerows, the length is still not what it was pre-World War.

To analyse the ecological benefits that farmland trees are providing within the environment, the types and number of microhabitats present on farmland trees were recorded. It was hypothesized that because of farming management taking place, trees on farmland would produce some of these specialised microhabitats predominantly present on mature trees; but the numbers produced would be lower on younger trees. This research has confirmed that young and mature trees can produce at least one specialised microhabitat within a farmland system. The type and number of microhabitats present varied with the species of tree. Species found on both physiographic regions had nearly the same range of microhabitats present, and the size of the tree was found to not affect the ability to produce a microhabitat. This research concludes that agricultural practices can be a precursor for some specialised microhabitats to form on farmland trees.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Environment; Geography; Trees; Agricultural; Habitats
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Human and Life Sciences
Depositing User: Miss Rosemary Cox
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2017 13:13
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2017 17:52
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/16318

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00