Seed introduction and gap creation facilitate restoration of meadow species richness

  • Published source details Hellström K., Huhta A.P., Rautio P. & Tuomi J. (2009) Seed introduction and gap creation facilitate restoration of meadow species richness. Journal for Nature Conservation (English 2002-)*, 17, 236-244.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Restore/create species-rich, semi-natural grassland

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Restore/create species-rich, semi-natural grassland

    A randomized, replicated, controlled trial from 2003 to 2006 on a meadow in northern Finland (Hellström et al. 2009) (same study as (Hellström et al. 2006)) found that of eight plant species sown, only two had established themselves after three years. The two species, maiden pink Dianthus deltoides and self-heal Prunella vulgaris, were only growing well on plots mown in August, with soil disturbance. Four plant species, small mousetail Myosurus minimus, water avens Geum rivale, northern dock Rumex longifolius and tansy Tanacetum vulgare did not establish, with 0-3 seedlings observed in the entire experiment, and none on any plots by 2006. Longleaf speedwell Veronica longifolia and sticky catchfly Lychnis viscaria grew well on the August-mown disturbed plots (10-18 seedlings in total) in the first year, but not in subsequent years. No species grew well on the other treatments (0-6 seedlings in total of each species/year). The meadow was divided into forty 50 x 50 cm study plots. In September 2003, half of each plot was sown with 30 locally-collected seeds of eight plant species. Seedlings were counted in June-July 2004-2006. Ten plots were mown in June, ten in August, and ten mown in August with bare soil exposed in 25% of the plot area, using a spade. Ten control plots were not mown.


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