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The demography and flora of the Ouse Washes, England

, : The demography and flora of the Ouse Washes, England. Biological Conservation 21(3): 197-229

The Ouse Washes remain as the last, large, extensively flooded washland in the fenland region of East Anglia. They mainly comprise high marsh and grassland with minor areas of low marsh and open water. Their principal function remains as a storage site for excess winter flood water which restricts the agricultural use to seasonal grazing and mowing. Drainage developments have allowed .apprx. 3/4 of the remaining area of washland to be converted into arable land. The main plants of the ditches, rivers, pools and fields are described. Phalaris arundinacea and Glyceria maxima predominate in the fields and the latter is the dominant emergent in the aquatic habitats. The main biotic factors diversifying the habitats and flora are pool creation, ditch clearance and cattle grazing. This is of benefit to the breeding and wintering waterbirds.


DOI: 10.1016/0006-3207(81)90091-4

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