Plant diversity, production, stability, and susceptibility to invasion in restored northern tall grass prairies (United States)

  • Published source details Biondini M. (2007) Plant diversity, production, stability, and susceptibility to invasion in restored northern tall grass prairies (United States). Restoration Ecology, 15, 77-87.


Within the context of northern tall grass prairie restoration in the USA, a study was undertaken at the NDSU Albert Ekre Grassland Preserve, southeast North Dakota (46°33′N, 97°7′W), to identify the most efficacious seed mix and fertilizer addition combinations.

The experiment comprised 50 species mixtures fertilized with nitrogen (N) or phosphorous (P) at high (200 kg/ha/yr for N; 40 kg for P), or low levels (20 kg/ha/yr N; 4 kg P). N and P were applied in the early spring year as slow release prills.
In plots (3 x 3 m) 1, 2, 5, 10, or 20 plant species were hand broadcast and covered with a thin layer of soil (10 replications/treatment; total 400 plots). Most were sown in autumn 1999 (some in the following spring). Seeding rate was 400 seeds per m2 (equal amount/species).
Aboveground biomass by species, species foliar cover and number of species per plot was assessed in sample quadrats (2000-2004).

Overall, results indicate that invasion by unsown (and mostly undesired) species drastically declined as the number of species sown/established increased, and where there was greater functional form richness.
Overtime, aboveground biomass increased and year-to-year variation in productivity declined as species and functional form richness rose. Highest biomass occurred in the high N treatment, and next the low N. P addition had little effect, as expected, due to high available P in the soil prior to the experiment.
Note: If using or referring to this published study, please read and quote the original paper, this can be viewed at:

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 21

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust