dshubble's picture

Butcher's-broom

Observed: 3rd January 2010 By: dshubble
Leaf Beetle Recording SchemeSouthampton Natural History Society
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bbroom1
Description:

Small shrub with leaf-like cladodes (flattened stems); the leaves are reduced to small scales.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Butcher's-broom (Ruscus aculeatus) interacts

Comments

Jonathan's picture

This species can be an

This species can be an indicator of old (primary) woodland. Is that likely in this case?

Jonathan
University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)

dshubble's picture

Old woodland indicator?

Probably not in this case - the site is in a mosaic of farmland and commercial woodland as well as well-developed secondary woodland. The nearby Stoke Park Wood is on the 'Old Series' OS map of the early 19thC, but this site on the edge of farmland doesn't appear to be. Also, no ancient trees that I'm aware of, amongst other clues...

Jonathan's picture

Interesting. Old woodland

Interesting. Old woodland indicators do appear to be region-specific.

Jonathan
University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)

dshubble's picture

Regional AWIs

Ancient Woodland Indicators (AWIs) are indeed regional and this species is listed for the south, although like most if not all AWIs, can also be found in more recent woodland. There's a useful list in the most recent edition of The Wild Flower Key (F. Rose 2006, pp.558-561).

Also, copies of the 'Old Series' OS maps are invaluable when looking at landscape history - they had levels of detail often missing from more recent editions and (some at least) are available in the OS 'Timeline Maps' series. They've been re-scaled to 1:50000 and have had the modern grid added.