Scrub and Hedgerow



Scrub Is The Half-Way House between meadow or heath and woodland, and often a rather temporary habitation because of the speed with which ecological succession moves. It is also half-way in another sense, because shrubs are mostly of little use for forage or timber — too woody for the former and not large enough for the latter. The chief reason why so much scrub exists in this country is that man has grown or retained it for shelter and as a barricade between fields and along roads. Nearly all the rest is either a temporary stage in the development of woodland (Plate 10) or else forms part of the developed woodland or glade. In the habitat classification I have been using there are four situations (other than such places as gardens) in which Terrestrial scrub may exist. It may be in substantial groves or thickets; or form the edge of these, or much more commonly, exist as an ‘edge’ itself in the form of hedgerow; occur on the edge of woods; or as an under-storey inside the woods. This chapter will be concerned mainly with pure scrub or its edge, growing away from the cover of trees, and not in Transition zones. Most natural scrub in Britain is deciduous.


Animal Community Passerine Bird Field Layer Shelter Belt Willow Warbler 
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© Charles S. Elton 1966

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