Vegetation development on upland and marginal land treated with herbicide, for bracken (Pteridium aquilinum) control, in Great Britain.
Aerial spraying with asulam is a favoured method of bracken control in Great Britain. A field survey of 117 sites, of which 15 were unsprayed, was carried out in upland areas of Britain in June-September 1994 and 1995. The survey sites constituted a chronosequence of different times after spraying. Floristic transects were made, and 11 environmental variables recorded. Spraying reduced bracken and increased α-diversity, but there were strong regional variations in vegetation development after treatment. There was also a strong influence of soil chemistry, and grazing could be critical in determining the fate of heathland after spraying.