Turf transplants for restoration of alpine vegetation: does size matter?

  • Published source details Aradottir A.L. (2012) Turf transplants for restoration of alpine vegetation: does size matter?. Journal of Applied Ecology, 49, 439-446.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Plant turf

Action Link
Shrubland and Heathland Conservation
  1. Plant turf

    A randomized, replicated, controlled study from 2007 to 2009 at two sites in southern Iceland (Aradottir et al. 2012) found that transplanting turf from heathland sites to unvegetated sites had a mixed effect on number of plant species, and the cover of shrubs and grass. After two years, when transplanted turf sizes were larger than 20 cm x 20 cm, the number of plant species was higher in areas with transplanted turf (7 species/plot) than in untreated areas (2 species/plot), but not when turf sizes were smaller (3 species/plot). The cover of shrubs increased when turf was larger than 30 cm x 30 cm (to 1% cover) relative to untreated controls (0%), but not when turf sizes were smaller (0%). Grass cover increased when turf was larger than 30 cm x 30 cm (to 2%) compared to untreated controls (0–1%), but not when turf were smaller than 20 cm x 20 cm. Two unvegetated sites were established in 2007. At one site all vegetation had been removed, while the other site was a roadside verge covered with gravel. At each site turf from a nearby dwarf shrub heathland was planted in 40 randomly located 2 m2 plots using different sizes of turf (8 plots for each turf size), with eight further plots left untreated. Vegetation cover of all plant species was recorded yearly between June and August in each 2 m2 plot.

    (Summarised by: Phil Martin)

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