|Title: ||The classification and management of limestone pavements - an endangered habitat|
|Advisors: ||Burek, Cynthia V|
|Publisher: ||University of Liverpool (University of Chester)|
|Issue Date: ||Jan-2011 |
|Abstract: ||This thesis describes an in-depth study of limestone pavements across North West
England and North Wales. The aim was to combine elements of geodiversity and
biodiversity in order to create a holistic limestone pavement classification to inform
future management. A field-based research protocol was used to assess a stratified
random sample (46 pavements), accounting for approximately 10% of the limestone
pavements in the geographical area. Detailed analyses of key elements are
presented, along with important issues that continue to pose threats to this Annex
One Priority Habitat.
This research resulted in a comprehensive classification, using TWINSPAN analysis
and Nonmetric Multidimensional Scaling, identifying six distinct holistic functional
groups. The prime factors driving limestone pavement morphology, and hence the
classification, were established to be lithology, proximity to structural fault, altitude
and human intervention, particularly in terms of grazing intensity.
Three upland, open limestone pavement classes were formed. Of these, the richest
in terms of geodiversity and biodiversity was the group with the thickest bedding
planes and hence the deepest grikes, typically greater than 1m. The class that was
most species-poor was "at the highest altitude (above 450m), formed on the thin
limestones of the Yoredales. These were characterised by shallow, wide grikes. The
third upland limestone pavement group had mid-range grikes, generally 0.5-1m in
depth, and small clints.
Two wooded classes were identified. One was a lowland 'classic' wooded limestone
pavement group with deep, narrow grikes and shallow soils. Indicator species
included Juniperus communis and Taxus baccata. The second wooded group was
situated proximal to a major structural fault. In this group the pavement dip ranged
between 10°-40° with well-runnelled clints that were heavily moss-covered.
The sixth group was low altitude, proximal to the coast, characterised by low moss
growth, un-vegetated clints and the presence of Ulex europaeus.
Conservation management was identified as key to the quality of the limestone
pavement habitat and this thesis identifies best management practises and links
these to the holistic limestone pavement classification.
Finally, as a sample case study, this thesis presents mollusc species and diversity
from eleven of the Yorkshire limestone pavements. Analysis establishes significant
links between geodiversity and mollusc populations, with key drivers for mollusc
communities echoing those of plant species on limestone pavement.|
|Type: ||Thesis or dissertation|
|Keywords: ||limestone pavements|
North West England
|Appears in Collections: ||MPhil / PhD Theses and Masters dissertations|
|Files in This Item:|
|sue willis.pdf||main thesis||24796Kb||Adobe PDF|
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