Calcareous grassland (or alkaline grassland) is an ecosystem associated with thin basic soil, such as that on chalk and limestone downland. Plants on calcareous grassland are typically short and hardy, and include grasses and herbs such as clover. Calcareous grassland is an important habitat for insects, particularly butterflies and ants, and is kept at a plagioclimax by grazing animals, usually sheep and sometimes cattle. Rabbits used to play a part but due to the onset of myxomatosis their numbers decreased so dramatically that they no longer have much of a grazing effect.
- Chalk Grassland HAP Archived 2009-01-07 at the Wayback Machine
- Mugnai, Michele; Frasconi Wendt, Clara; Balzani, Paride; Ferretti, Giulio; Dal Cin, Matteo; Masoni, Alberto; Frizzi, Filippo; Santini, Giacomo; Viciani, Daniele; Foggi, Bruno; Lazzaro, Lorenzo (2021). "Small-scale drivers on plant and ant diversity in a grassland habitat through a multifaceted approach". PeerJ. 9: e12517. doi:10.7717/peerj.12517. PMC 8711281. PMID 35036118.
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