Plant community establishment in a restored wetland: effects of soil removal

  • Published source details Hausman C.E., Fraser L.H., Kershner M.W. & de Szalay F.A. (2007) Plant community establishment in a restored wetland: effects of soil removal. Applied Vegetation Science, 10, 383-390.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Remove upper layer of peat/soil (without planting)

Action Link
Peatland Conservation
  1. Remove upper layer of peat/soil (without planting)

    A replicated, randomized, paired, controlled study in 2000–2004 in a degraded peatland in Ohio, USA (Hausman et al. 2007) found that plots stripped of topsoil contained significantly different plant communities to unstripped plots after four years, whilst plant species richness and diversity showed mixed results and biomass did not differ. Overall, the plant community in stripped plots contained more wetland-characteristic species and fewer upland-characteristic species than the community in unstripped plots (data reported as a graphical analysis). In one of two fields, stripped 25 m2 plots contained more plant species than unstripped plots (24 vs 15) and were more diverse (data reported as a diversity index). In the other field, stripped plots contained fewer species than unstripped plots (13 vs 20) and were less diverse. Above-ground plant biomass did not differ between treatments in either field (stripped: 168–405; unstripped: 171–415 g/0.5 m2). In 2000, twelve pairs of plots were established across two historically farmed peat fields. Topsoil (40–50 cm depth) was stripped from one plot in each pair but not from the other. Across the whole study area, the water table was raised and some seeds were sown (although the study states that most plants colonized naturally). In 2004, cover of every plant species was estimated in one 25 m2 quadrat/plot. Above-ground biomass was collected from three 0.5 m2 quadrats/plot, then dried and weighed.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

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