Grass Identification and Ecology
10 July 2012
Tutor: Sharon Pilkington CEnv MIEEM
Level: Beginner - Intermediate
The ability to accurately identify grasses throughout the year is an essential skill for anyone undertaking habitat or species surveys yet many ecologists and countryside professionals do not feel confident in this area. This workshop aims to give participants confidence in identifying some widespread species in this tricky group.
Bratton Camp is an ancient hill fort on the Salisbury Plain escarpment. Typical chalk downland habitats cover the fort and there are also good-sized patches of semi-improved neutral grassland and arable/disturbed habitats supporting many different species of grass. This field-based workshop will aim to give participants with little previous knowledge the confidence to identify 25 or more widespread grasses. Species that are confined to particular types of vegetation (axiophytes) will be introduced, as well as generalists.
Participants will learn essential grass morphology and will practice using Vegetative Key to key out grasses. Emphasis will be placed on applying reliable vegetative characters for identification, although flowers will not be ignored.
It will also be demonstrated how an understanding of the ecology of individual grasses is essential in comprehending the physical aspects of a particular habitat and there will be opportunities to examine a range of NVC / Phase 1 grassland communities.
IEEM Members: £90 (£80 if booked before 10 May 2012)
Non-Members: £180 (£160 if booked before 10 May 2012)
Who should attend this workshop?
Professional ecologists, consultants, countryside rangers, land managers, biodiversity advisers and other ecological surveyors wishing to improve their grass identification skills and gain a better understanding of grassland ecology.
Basic knowledge of grasses and grass anatomy would be useful but is not essential.
Anything participants need to know/read before coming on the training event, or need to have with them?
- The vegetative key to the British Flora. Poland, J. and Clement, E. 2009 (familiarity with its layout and structure would be helpful but is not essential);
- A good-quality x10 or x15 hand-lens;
- FSC Guide to Common Grasses (fold-out chart);
- Appropriate clothing in the event of hot/wet weather (Bratton Camp is very exposed).
- Please be aware that ticks are known from this area and they can cause Lyme Disease – it is recommended that participants cover arms and legs and wear a suitable tick repellent.
- your own grass identification books e.g.
- Grasses of the British Isles. Cope, T. & Gray, A. 2009. (BSBI Handbook No. 13);
- Grasses. Hubbard, C.E. 1984;
- Grasses, sedges, rushes and ferns of the British Isles and north-western Europe. Rose, F. 1989.
What will participants learn from the workshop? (learning outcomes)
- A working knowledge of the anatomy and terminology of grasses;
- How to identify many commonly-encountered grasses from both reproductive and vegetative characters;
- How to use the Vegetative Key;
- How to interpret grassland characteristics using grasses as indicators.
|Date||10 Jul 2012 - 10:00|
|Organiser||IEEM: This event is fully booked - to be added to the reserve list contact firstname.lastname@example.org|