Effect of Electricity Pylons on Plant Biodiversity in Intensive Farmland in Poland

Przemysław Kurek, T.H. Sparks, Blanka Wiatrowska, Kaja Rola, Piotr Tryjanowski

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    In 2013 we surveyed 116 plots under electricity pylons and 116 reference plots. The
    basal areas of pylons were 6 m2, 21 m2 or 32 m2. Plots under pylons had higher total
    numbers of species than reference plots, with grassland plots as an exception. Herbaceous
    species occurring exclusively within pylon plots were more numerous than
    those exclusively in reference plots (with the exception of grassland). Pylon plots also
    had a higher Shannon’s diversity index (H´) of herbaceous plant species, again with
    the exception of grassland plots. Species number and H´ increased with increasing
    plot area under pylons among cereal and maize fields. A different trend was recorded
    in grassland; with increasing plot size the differences in species richness and diversity
    between pylon and reference plots became less distinct. Regardless of plot area, the Jaccard
    index was usually low and did not exceed a value of 0.20. It may be concluded that
    electricity pylons act as refuges for many plant species, which makes them biodiversity
    hotspots in farmland. Species richness and diversity under pylons differs markedly from
    those of nearby farmland. Such vegetation patches under electricity pylons form a substantial
    network of floristically diverse refuges within an unfavourable matrix
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)415-425
    Number of pages11
    JournalAnnales Botanici Fennici
    Issue number5-6
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2016


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