An experimental modification of upland peat vegetation.
An experiment was conducted over 13 years at Moor House National Nature Reserve in the N. Pennines to examine the effects of clipping and removal on mixed moorland vegetation. Total yield was greater on more sloping and shallower peat, where more species persisted. Both Eriophorum vaginatum and Calluna vulgaris grew better on more sloping peat, but in the absence of cutting, C. vulgaris suppressed E. vaginatum on slopes. There was some evidence that differences in response to slope could be eliminated by the addition of mineral nutrients. The persistence of C. vulgaris and Rubus chamaemorus under annual clipping also varied with slope. Although clipping may be equated only very loosely with grazing and burning, the effects of these practices, coupled with differences of topography, may help to account for observed differences in vegetation between N. and S. parts of the Pennines.