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Abstract

In order to extend quarrying near Thrislington Plantation, County Durham, England, 8.5 ha of magnesian limestone grassland was relocated over a period of eight years from October 1982. The effects of this on the flora and invertebrate fauna were examined within the Festuca-Helianthemum community at five plots relocated at different times. Plants were sampled with a point-quadrat, and invertebrates by pitfall trapping. Comparisons were made between age of the relocation, numbers of species and individuals, and diversity of flora and invertebrates. The plots were examined using the percentage similarity measure. The plots showed an initial change in some aspects of community structure for flora and invertebrate fauna, followed by a “recovery” period. This was particularly evident in the numbers of species and species diversity of plants and in the numbers of individuals and species diversity of invertebrates. Bare ground, left by the relocation process, was still evident between relocated turfs in the early plots, but it was successfully colonized by resident species in later plots. These results have implications for the future management of this and similar sites, particularly with respect to the emphasis placed on subsequent monitoring and the need to consider invertebrate faunas when implementing management strategies.