Depleting soil nutrients through frequency and timing of hay cutting on floodplain meadows for habitat restoration and nutrient neutrality
Floodplain meadows are an ancient part of our agricultural landscape in Britain and Europe that provides not only food and fodder, but also essential services such as flood prevention and carbon storage. Their high level of biodiversity is shaped by the annual cycling of nutrients through the deposition of nutrient-rich river sediments, which adds nutrients to meadow soils, and haymaking, which takes nutrients back out. In the Hay Days project we looked at how the timing of haymaking on floodplain meadows in central England can change how fertile this agricultural land is and how much biodiversity it can support.
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