What are axiophytes for?
1. Evidence for site designation
Lists of axiophytes for various BAP habitats can be used as an empirical measure for sites of nature conservation interest. This allows landowners and others to see how decisions have been made.
2. Protecting the wider countryside
Each grid square in the countryside can be assigned a number according to the total number of axiophytes present. For axiophyte-rich squares, full surveys need to be carried out, and potentially damaging operations can be directed away from the most important areas.
3. Monitoring site condition
Because lists of axiophytes are much longer than the lists of rarities, they are much more sensitive to changes in ecology. If protected sites and nature reserves had lists of axiophytes, their abundance could be measured over the years and decades to see how well they are performing.
4. Prioritising resouce allocation
Because each site can be ranked according to the number of axiophytes it contains, a relative scale of site importance can be created, using a quantifiable method. Axiophytes are therefore a more effective way to allocate conservation resources.
Sites which have lost the most axiophytes most recently might well be the most promising ones for restoration. Targets can be set and monitored by specifying which axiophytes will benefit. Several Nature Improvement Area projects use axiophytes as a way to monitor progress of nature conservation projects in the wider countryside.