The ecology of sycamore in British Woodland

Bleay, Neil John (1987) The ecology of sycamore in British Woodland. Masters thesis, Middlesex Polytechnic.

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Abstract

This thesis, "The Ecology of Sycamore in British Woodland", firstly examines the method by which sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) has been introduced to the British environment, and seeks to ascertain the common locations of these introductions. An approximately 300km2 section of West Suffolk is selected to be an example of a typical intensively farmed, lowland, rural landscape. Classification and definition of the vegetational types present is undertaken. The area is then surveyed according to techniques designed primarily by the author. The survey produces an accurate description of vegetational composition, from which the demography of sycamore can be examined, and a database of ecologically significant factors for individual vegetation units. Subsequent research is concerned with analyzing the data from the survey in conjunction with additional studies of specific sites. An investigation of the occurrence of sycamore in relation to other native tree species and common vegetational types is effected, to reveal the 1980s status of sycamore in terms of vegetational classification. The physical structure of woodlands is then examined to produce an estimation of sycamore's past and future competitive status in comparison with the native tree community, particularly interpreting the anthropogenic influence of woodland management. Specific sites are chosen for more detailed observation and some of the conservational implications of sycamore invasion are discussed. The way (including rate and method) in which sycamore disperses through the West Suffolk area is considered. Whether sycamore invasion of individual woodland conforms to predictable demographic patterns is questioned by mapping invasive sycamore populations. Areas of Epping Forest are included to provide an example of a management variant. The thesis continues to give an account of the possible resistance of some woodland to invasion which could be related to the physical form and species composition of individual woodlands and to the intrinsic niche exploitation capability afforded to sycamore by virtue of its dispersal adaptation. The 'strategy' and 'life mode' of sycamore is reflected upon with regard to its tolerances to various ecological components of woodland ecosystems and to the British climatic regime both past and present.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information: MPhil thesis.
Research Areas: B. > Theses
Item ID: 9845
Depositing User: Adam Miller
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2013 14:45
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2016 15:55
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/9845

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