Soil is a mixture of organic matter, gases and organisms that together support life. Earth's body of soil, called the pedosphere, has four important functions: as a medium for plant growth as a means of water storage and purification as a modifier of Earth's atmosphere as a habitat for organismsAll of these functions, in their turn, modify the soil; the pedosphere interfaces with the lithosphere, the hydrosphere, the atmosphere, the biosphere. The term pedolith, used to refer to the soil, translates to ground stone in the sense "fundamental stone". Soil consists of a solid phase of minerals and organic matter, as well as a porous phase that holds gases and water. Accordingly, soil scientists can envisage soils as a three-state system of solids and gases. Soil is a product of several factors: the influence of climate, relief and the soil's parent materials interacting over time, it continually undergoes development by way of numerous physical and biological processes, which include weathering with associated erosion.
Given its complexity and strong internal connectedness, soil ecologists regard soil as an ecosystem. Most soils have a dry bulk density between 1.1 and 1.6 g/cm3, while the soil particle density is much higher, in the range of 2.6 to 2.7 g/cm3. Little of the soil of planet Earth is older than the Pleistocene and none is older than the Cenozoic, although fossilized soils are preserved from as far back as the Archean. Soil science has two basic branches of study: pedology. Edaphology studies the influence of soils on living things. Pedology focuses on the formation and classification of soils in their natural environment. In engineering terms, soil is included in the broader concept of regolith, which includes other loose material that lies above the bedrock, as can be found on the Moon and on other celestial objects as well. Soil is commonly referred to as earth or dirt. Soil is a major component of the Earth's ecosystem; the world's ecosystems are impacted in far-reaching ways by the processes carried out in the soil, from ozone depletion and global warming to rainforest destruction and water pollution.
With respect to Earth's carbon cycle, soil is an important carbon reservoir, it is one of the most reactive to human disturbance and climate change. As the planet warms, it has been predicted that soils will add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere due to increased biological activity at higher temperatures, a positive feedback; this prediction has, been questioned on consideration of more recent knowledge on soil carbon turnover. Soil acts as an engineering medium, a habitat for soil organisms, a recycling system for nutrients and organic wastes, a regulator of water quality, a modifier of atmospheric composition, a medium for plant growth, making it a critically important provider of ecosystem services. Since soil has a tremendous range of available niches and habitats, it contains most of the Earth's genetic diversity. A gram of soil can contain billions of organisms, belonging to thousands of species microbial and in the main still unexplored. Soil has a mean prokaryotic density of 108 organisms per gram, whereas the ocean has no more than 107 procaryotic organisms per milliliter of seawater.
Organic carbon held in soil is returned to the atmosphere through the process of respiration carried out by heterotrophic organisms, but a substantial part is retained in the soil in the form of soil organic matter. Since plant roots need oxygen, ventilation is an important characteristic of soil; this ventilation can be accomplished via networks of interconnected soil pores, which absorb and hold rainwater making it available for uptake by plants. Since plants require a nearly continuous supply of water, but most regions receive sporadic rainfall, the water-holding capacity of soils is vital for plant survival. Soils can remove impurities, kill disease agents, degrade contaminants, this latter property being called natural attenuation. Soils maintain a net absorption of oxygen and methane and undergo a net release of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide. Soils offer plants physical support, water, temperature moderation and protection from toxins. Soils provide available nutrients to plants and animals by converting dead organic matter into various nutrient forms.
A typical soil is about 50% solids, 50% voids of which half is occupied by water and half by gas. The percent soil mineral and organic content can be treated as a constant, while the percent soil water and gas content is considered variable whereby a rise in one is balanced by a reduction in the other; the pore space allows for the infiltration and movement of air and water, both of which are critical for life existing in soil. Compaction, a common problem with soils, reduces this space, preventing air and water from reaching plant roots and soil organisms. Given sufficient time, an undifferentiated soil will evolve a soil profile which consists of two or more layers, referred to as soil horizons, that differ in one or more properties such as in their texture, density, consistency, temperature and reactivity; the horizons differ in thickness and gene
An ecosystem is a community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment, interacting as a system. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flows. Energy is incorporated into plant tissue. By feeding on plants and on one-another, animals play an important role in the movement of matter and energy through the system, they influence the quantity of plant and microbial biomass present. By breaking down dead organic matter, decomposers release carbon back to the atmosphere and facilitate nutrient cycling by converting nutrients stored in dead biomass back to a form that can be used by plants and other microbes. Ecosystems are controlled by internal factors. External factors such as climate, the parent material which forms the soil and topography, control the overall structure of an ecosystem, but are not themselves influenced by the ecosystem. Ecosystems are dynamic entities—they are subject to periodic disturbances and are in the process of recovering from some past disturbance.
Ecosystems in similar environments that are located in different parts of the world can end up doing things differently because they have different pools of species present. Internal factors not only control ecosystem processes but are controlled by them and are subject to feedback loops. Resource inputs are controlled by external processes like climate and parent material. Resource availability within the ecosystem is controlled by internal factors like decomposition, root competition or shading. Although humans operate within ecosystems, their cumulative effects are large enough to influence external factors like climate. Biodiversity affects ecosystem functioning, as do the processes of disturbance and succession. Ecosystems provide a variety of services upon which people depend; the term ecosystem was first used in 1935 in a publication by British ecologist Arthur Tansley. Tansley devised the concept to draw attention to the importance of transfers of materials between organisms and their environment.
He refined the term, describing it as "The whole system... including not only the organism-complex, but the whole complex of physical factors forming what we call the environment". Tansley regarded ecosystems not as natural units, but as "mental isolates". Tansley defined the spatial extent of ecosystems using the term ecotope. G. Evelyn Hutchinson, a limnologist, a contemporary of Tansley's, combined Charles Elton's ideas about trophic ecology with those of Russian geochemist Vladimir Vernadsky; as a result, he suggested. This would, in turn, limit the abundance of animals. Raymond Lindeman took these ideas further to suggest that the flow of energy through a lake was the primary driver of the ecosystem. Hutchinson's students, brothers Howard T. Odum and Eugene P. Odum, further developed a "systems approach" to the study of ecosystems; this allowed them to study the flow of material through ecological systems. Ecosystems are controlled both by internal factors. External factors called state factors, control the overall structure of an ecosystem and the way things work within it, but are not themselves influenced by the ecosystem.
The most important of these is climate. Climate determines the biome. Rainfall patterns and seasonal temperatures influence photosynthesis and thereby determine the amount of water and energy available to the ecosystem. Parent material determines the nature of the soil in an ecosystem, influences the supply of mineral nutrients. Topography controls ecosystem processes by affecting things like microclimate, soil development and the movement of water through a system. For example, ecosystems can be quite different if situated in a small depression on the landscape, versus one present on an adjacent steep hillside. Other external factors that play an important role in ecosystem functioning include time and potential biota; the set of organisms that can be present in an area can significantly affect ecosystems. Ecosystems in similar environments that are located in different parts of the world can end up doing things differently because they have different pools of species present; the introduction of non-native species can cause substantial shifts in ecosystem function.
Unlike external factors, internal factors in ecosystems not only control ecosystem processes but are controlled by them. They are subject to feedback loops. While the resource inputs are controlled by external processes like climate and parent material, the availability of these resources within the ecosystem is controlled by internal factors like decomposition, root competition or shading. Other factors like disturbance, succession or the types of species present are internal factors. Primary production is the production of organic matter from inorganic carbon sources; this occurs through photosynthesis. The energy incorporated through this process supports life on earth, while the carbon makes up much of the organic matter in living and dead biomass, soil carbon and fossil fuels, it drives the carbon cycle, which influences global climate via the greenhouse effect. Through the process of photosynthesis, plants capture energy from light and use it to combine carbon dioxide and water to produce carbohydrates and oxygen.
The photosynthesis carried out by all the plants in an ecosystem is called the gross primary production. About half of the GPP is consumed in plant respiration; the remainder, that portion of GPP, not used up by respirati
Herbicides commonly known as weedkillers, are chemical substances used to control unwanted plants. Selective herbicides control specific weed species, while leaving the desired crop unharmed, while non-selective herbicides can be used to clear waste ground and construction sites and railway embankments as they kill all plant material with which they come into contact. Apart from selective/non-selective, other important distinctions include persistence, means of uptake, mechanism of action. Products such as common salt and other metal salts were used as herbicides, however these have fallen out of favor and in some countries a number of these are banned due to their persistence in soil, toxicity and groundwater contamination concerns. Herbicides have been used in warfare and conflict. Modern herbicides are synthetic mimics of natural plant hormones which interfere with growth of the target plants; the term organic herbicide has come to mean herbicides intended for organic farming. Some plants produce their own natural herbicides, such as the genus Juglans, or the tree of heaven.
Due to herbicide resistance - a major concern in agriculture - a number of products combine herbicides with different means of action. Integrated pest management may use herbicides alongside other pest control methods. In the US in 2007, about 83% of all herbicide usage, determined by weight applied, was in agriculture. In 2007, world pesticide expenditures totaled about $39.4 billion. Smaller quantities are used in forestry, pasture systems, management of areas set aside as wildlife habitat. Prior to the widespread use of chemical herbicides, cultural controls, such as altering soil pH, salinity, or fertility levels, were used to control weeds. Mechanical control was used to control weeds. Although research into chemical herbicides began in the early 20th century, the first major breakthrough was the result of research conducted in both the UK and the US during the Second World War into the potential use of herbicides in war; the first modern herbicide, 2,4-D, was first discovered and synthesized by W. G. Templeman at Imperial Chemical Industries.
In 1940, he showed that "Growth substances applied appropriately would kill certain broad-leaved weeds in cereals without harming the crops." By 1941, his team succeeded in synthesizing the chemical. In the same year, Pokorny in the US achieved this as well. Independently, a team under Juda Hirsch Quastel, working at the Rothamsted Experimental Station made the same discovery. Quastel was tasked by the Agricultural Research Council to discover methods for improving crop yield. By analyzing soil as a dynamic system, rather than an inert substance, he was able to apply techniques such as perfusion. Quastel was able to quantify the influence of various plant hormones and other chemicals on the activity of microorganisms in the soil and assess their direct impact on plant growth. While the full work of the unit remained secret, certain discoveries were developed for commercial use after the war, including the 2,4-D compound; when 2,4-D was commercially released in 1946, it triggered a worldwide revolution in agricultural output and became the first successful selective herbicide.
It allowed for enhanced weed control in wheat, maize and similar cereal grass crops, because it kills dicots, but not most monocots. The low cost of 2,4-D has led to continued usage today, it remains one of the most used herbicides in the world. Like other acid herbicides, current formulations use either an amine salt or one of many esters of the parent compound; these are easier to handle than the acid. The triazine family of herbicides, which includes atrazine, were introduced in the 1950s. Atrazine does not break down after being applied to soils of above neutral pH. Under alkaline soil conditions, atrazine may be carried into the soil profile as far as the water table by soil water following rainfall causing the aforementioned contamination. Atrazine is thus said to have "carryover", a undesirable property for herbicides. Glyphosate was introduced in 1974 for nonselective weed control. Following the development of glyphosate-resistant crop plants, it is now used extensively for selective weed control in growing crops.
The pairing of the herbicide with the resistant seed contributed to the consolidation of the seed and chemistry industry in the late 1990s. Many modern chemical herbicides used in agriculture and gardening are formulated to decompose within a short period after application; this is desirable, as it allows crops and plants to be planted afterwards, which could otherwise be affected by the herbicide. However, herbicides with low residual activity do not provide season-long weed control and do not ensure that weed roots are killed beneath construction and paving, therefore there remains a role for weedkiller with high levels of persistence in the soil. Herbicides are classified/grou
Herbaceous plants are plants that have no persistent woody stem above ground. The term is applied to perennials, but in botany it may refer to annuals or biennials, include both forbs and graminoids. Annual herbaceous plants die at the end of the growing season or when they have flowered and fruited, they grow again from seed. Herbaceous perennial and biennial plants may have stems that die at the end of the growing season, but parts of the plant survive under or close to the ground from season to season. New growth develops from living tissues remaining on or under the ground, including roots, a caudex or various types of underground stems, such as bulbs, stolons and tubers. Examples of herbaceous biennials include carrot and common ragwort. By contrast, non-herbaceous perennial plants are woody plants which have stems above ground that remain alive during the dormant season and grow shoots the next year from the above-ground parts – these include trees and vines; some fast-growing herbaceous plants are pioneers, or early-successional species.
Others form the main vegetation of many stable habitats, occurring for example in the ground layer of forests, or in open habitats such as meadow, salt marsh or desert. Some herbaceous plants can grow rather large, such as the genus Musa; the age of some herbaceous perennial plants can be determined by herbchronology, the analysis of annual growth rings in the secondary root xylem
Drainage is the natural or artificial removal of a surface's water and sub-surface water from an area with excess of water. The internal drainage of most agricultural soils is good enough to prevent severe waterlogging, but many soils need artificial drainage to improve production or to manage water supplies; the Indus Valley Civilization had advanced drainage systems. All houses in the major cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro had access to water and drainage facilities. Waste water was directed to covered gravity sewers; the invention of hollow-pipe drainage is credited to Sir Hugh Dalrymple, who died in 1753. New drainage systems incorporate geotextile filters that retain and prevent fine grains of soil from passing into and clogging the drain. Geotextiles are synthetic textile fabrics specially manufactured for civil and environmental engineering applications. Geotextiles are designed to retain fine soil particles while allowing water to pass through. In a typical drainage system, they would be laid along a trench which would be filled with coarse granular material: gravel, sea shells, stone or rock.
The geotextile is folded over the top of the stone and the trench is covered by soil. Groundwater flows through the stone to an outfell. In high groundwater conditions a perforated plastic pipe is laid along the base of the drain to increase the volume of water transported in the drain. Alternatively, a prefabricated plastic drainage system made of HDPE incorporating geotextile, coco fiber or rag filters can be considered; the use of these materials has become more common due to their ease of use which eliminates the need for transporting and laying stone drainage aggregate, invariably more expensive than a synthetic drain and concrete liners. Over the past 30 years geotextile, PVC filters and HDPE filters have become the most used soil filter media, they are cheap to produce and easy to lay, with factory controlled properties that ensure long term filtration performance in fine silty soil conditions. Seattle's Public Utilities created; the project focuses on designing a system "to provide drainage that more mimics the natural landscape prior to development than traditional piped systems".
The streets are characterized by ditches along the side of the roadway, with plantings designed throughout the area. An emphasis on non curbed sidewalks allows water to flow more into the areas of permeable surface on the side of the streets; because of the plantings, the run off water from the urban area does not all directly go into the ground, but can be absorbed into the surrounding environment. Monitoring conducted by Seattle Public Utilities reports a 99 percent reduction of storm water leaving the drainage projectDrainage has undergone a large-scale environmental review in the recent past in the United Kingdom. Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems are designed to encourage contractors to install drainage system that more mimic the natural flow of water in nature. Since 2010 local and neighbourhood planning in the UK is required by law to factor SUDS into any development projects that they are responsible for. Slot drainage has proved the most breakthrough product of the last twenty years as a drainage option.
As a channel drainage system it is designed to eliminate the need for further pipework systems to be installed in parallel to the drainage, reducing the environmental impact of production as well as improving water collection. Stainless steel, concrete channel, PVC and HDPE are all materials available for slot drainage which have become industry standards on construction projects; the civil engineer is responsible for drainage in construction projects. They set out from the plans all the roads, street gutters, drainage and sewers involved in construction operations. During the construction process he/she will set out all the necessary levels for each of the mentioned factors. Civil engineers and construction managers work alongside architects and supervisors, quantity surveyors, the general workforce, as well as subcontractors. Most jurisdictions have some body of drainage law to govern to what degree a landowner can alter the drainage from his parcel. Drainage options for the construction industry include: Point drainage, which intercepts water at gullies.
Gullies connect to drainage pipes beneath the ground surface and deep excavation is required to facilitate this system. Support for deep trenches is required in the shape of strutting or shoring. Channel drainage. Channel drainage is manufactured from concrete, polymer or composites; the interception rate of channel drainage is greater than point drainage and the excavation required is much less deep. The surface opening of channel drainage comes in the form of gratings or a single slot that runs along the ground surface. Earth retaining structures such as retaining walls need to consider groundwater drainage. Typical retaining walls are constructed of impermeable material which can block the path of groundwater; when groundwater flow is obstructed, hydrostatic water pressure buildups against the wall and may cause significant damage. If the water pressure is not drained appropriately, retaining walls can bow, move and seams separate; the water pressure can erode soil particles leading to voids behind the wall and sinkholes in the above soil.
Traditional retaining wall drainage systems
Overgrazing occurs when plants are exposed to intensive grazing for extended periods of time, or without sufficient recovery periods. It can be caused by either livestock in poorly managed agricultural applications, game reserves, or nature reserves, it can be caused by immobile, travel restricted populations of native or non-native wild animals. However, "overgrazing" is a controversial concept, based on equilibrium system theory, it reduces the usefulness and biodiversity of the land and is one cause of desertification and erosion. Overgrazing is seen as a cause of the spread of invasive species of non-native plants and of weeds, it is caused by nomadic grazers in huge populations of travel herds, such as the American bison of the Great Plains, or migratory Wildebeests of the African savannas, or by holistic planned grazing. Sustainable grassland production is based on grass and grassland management, land management, animal management and livestock marketing. Grazing management, with sustainable agriculture and agroecology practices, is the foundation of grassland-based livestock production since it affects both animal and plant health and productivity.
There are several new grazing models and management systems that attempt to reduce or eliminate overgrazing like Holistic management and Permaculture One indicator of overgrazing is that the animals run short of pasture. In some regions of the United States under continuous grazing, overgrazed pastures are predominated by short-grass species such as bluegrass and will be less than 2-3 inches tall in the grazed areas. In other parts of the world, overgrazed pasture is taller than sustainably grazed pasture, with grass heights over 1 meter and dominated by unpalatable species such as Aristida or Imperata. In all cases, palatable tall grasses such as orchard grass are non-existent. In such cases of overgrazing, soil may be visible between plants in the stand, allowing erosion to occur, though in many circumstances overgrazed pastures have a greater sward cover than sustainably grazed pastures. Under rotational grazing, overgrazed plants do not have enough time to recover to the proper height between grazing events.
The animals resume grazing before the plants have restored carbohydrate reserves and grown back roots lost after the last defoliation. The result is the same as under continuous grazing: in some parts of the United States tall-growing species die and short-growing species that are more subject to drought injury predominate the pasture, while in most other parts of the world tall, drought tolerant, unpalatable species such as Imperata or Aristida come to dominate; as the sod thins, weeds encroach into the pasture in some parts of the United States, whereas in most other parts of the worlds overgrazing can promote thick swards of native unpalatable grasses that hamper the spread of weeds. Another indicator of overgrazing in some parts of North America is that livestock run out of pasture, hay needs to be fed early in the fall. In contrast, most areas of the world do not experience the same climatic regime as the continental United States and hay feeding is conducted. Overgrazing is indicated in livestock performance and condition.
Cows having inadequate pasture following their calf's weaning may have poor body condition the following season. This may reduce the vigor of cows and calves at calving. Cows in poor body condition do not cycle as soon after calving, which can result in delayed breeding; this can result in a long calving season. With good cow genetics, ideal seasons and controlled breeding 55% to 75% of the calves should come in the first 21 days of the calving season. Poor weaning weights of calves can be caused by insufficient pasture, when cows give less milk and the calves need pasture to maintain weight gain. Overgrazing increases soil erosion. Reduction in soil depth, soil organic matter and soil fertility impair the land's future natural and agricultural productivity. Soil fertility can sometimes be mitigated by applying organic fertilizers. However, the loss of soil depth and organic matter takes centuries to correct, their loss is critical in determining the soil's water-holding capacity and how well pasture plants do during dry weather.
Native plant grass species, both individual bunch grasses and in grasslands, are vulnerable. In the continental United States, to prevent overgrazing, match the forage supplement to the herd's requirement; this means. Another potential buffer is to plant warm-season perennial grasses such as switchgrass, which do not grow early in the season; this reduces the area that the livestock can use early in the season, making it easier for them to keep up with the cool-season grasses. The animals use the warm-season grasses during the heat of the summer, the cool-season grasses recover for fall grazing; the grazing guidelines in the table are for cool-season forages. When using continuous grazing, manage pasture height at one-half the recommended turn-in height for rotational grazing to optimize plant health; the growth habit of some forage species, such as alfalfa, does not permit their survival under continuous grazing. When managing for legumes in the stand, it is beneficial to use rotational grazing and graze the stand close and give adequate rest to stimulate the legumes' growth.
Overgrazing is used as an example in the economic concept now known as the Tragedy of the Commons devised in a 1968 paper by Garrett Hardin. This cited the work of a Victorian economist who used the over-grazing of common land as an example of behaviour. Hardin's example could only apply to unregulated use of land regarded as
A hedge or hedgerow is a line of spaced shrubs and sometimes trees and trained to form a barrier or to mark the boundary of an area, such as between neighbouring properties. Hedges used to separate a road from adjoining fields or one field from another, of sufficient age to incorporate larger trees, are known as hedgerows, they serve as windbreaks to improve conditions for the adjacent crops, as in bocage country. When clipped and maintained, hedges are a simple form of topiary; the development of hedges over the centuries is preserved in their structure. The first hedges enclosed land for cereal crops during the Neolithic Age; the farms were with fields about 0.1 hectares for hand cultivation. Some hedges date from the Bronze and Iron Ages, 2000–4000 years ago, when traditional patterns of landscape became established. Others were built during the Medieval field rationalisations. Many hedgerows separating fields from lanes in the United Kingdom and the Low Countries are estimated to have been in existence for more than seven hundred years, originating in the medieval period.
The root word of'hedge' is much older: it appears in the Old English language, in German, Dutch to mean'enclosure', as in the name of the Dutch city The Hague, or more formally's Gravenhage, meaning The Count's hedge. Charles the Bald is recorded as complaining in 864, at a time when most official fortifications were constructed of wooden palisades, that some unauthorized men were constructing haies et fertés – interwoven hedges of hawthorns. In parts of Britain, early hedges were destroyed to make way for the manorial open-field system. Many were replaced after the Enclosure Acts removed again during modern agricultural intensification, now some are being replanted for wildlife. A hedge may consist of a single species or several mixed at random. In many newly planted British hedges, at least 60 per cent of the shrubs are hawthorn and hazel, alone or in combination; the first two are effective barriers to livestock. Other shrubs and trees used include holly, oak and willow. Of the hedgerows in the Normandy region of France, Martin Blumenson said, The hedgerow is a fence, half earth, half hedge.
The wall at the base is a dirt parapet that varies in thickness from one to four or more feet and in height from three to twelve feet. Growing out of the wall is a hedge of hawthorn, brambles and trees, in thickness from one to three feet. Property demarcations, hedgerows protect crops and cattle from the ocean winds that sweep across the land; the hedgerows of Normandy became barriers that slowed the advance of Allied troops following the D-Day invasion of WWII. Formal, or modern garden hedges are grown in many varieties, including the following species: Berberis thunbergii Buxus sempervirens Carpinus betulus Crataegus monogyna Fagus sylvatica Fagus sylvatica ‘Purpurea’ Ilex aquifolium Ligustrum ovalifolium Photinia fraseri Prunus laurocerasus Prunus lusitanica Quercus ilex Taxus baccata Thuja occidentalis Thuja plicata Hedgerow trees are trees that grow in hedgerows but have been allowed to reach their full height and width. There are thought to be around 1.8 million hedgerow trees in Britain with 98% of these being in England and Wales.
Hedgerow trees are both an important part of the English landscape and valuable habitats for wildlife. Many hedgerow trees are veteran trees and therefore of great wildlife interest; the most common species are oak and ash, though in the past elm would have been common. Around 20 million elm trees, most of them hedgerow trees, were felled or died through Dutch elm disease in the late 1960s. Many other species are used, notably including beech and various fruit trees; the age structure of British hedgerow trees is old because the number of new trees is not sufficient to replace the number of trees that are lost through age or disease. New trees can be established by planting but it is more successful to leave standard trees behind when laying hedges. Trees should be left at no closer than 10 metres apart and the distances should vary so as to create a more natural landscape; the distance allows the young trees to develop full crowns without competing or producing too much shade. It is suggested that hedgerow trees cause gaps in hedges but it has been found that cutting some lower branches off lets sufficient light through to the hedge below to allow it to grow.
Hedges are recognised as part of a cultural heritage and historical record and for their great value to wildlife and the landscape. They are valued too for the major role they have to play in preventing soil loss and reducing pollution, for their potential to regulate water supply and to reduce flooding. In addition to maintaining the health of the environment, hedgerows play a huge role in providing shelter for smaller animals like birds and insects. Recent study by Emma Coulthard mentioned the possibility that hedgerows may act as guides for moths, like A. rumicis, when flying from one location to another. As moths are nocturnal, it is unlikely that they use visual aids as guides, but rather are following sensory or olfactory markers on the hedgerows. Hedges were used as a source of firewood, for providing shelter from wind, rain an