Recreating grasslands in Swedish rural landscapes – effects of seed sowing and management history

  • Published source details Lindborg R. (2006) Recreating grasslands in Swedish rural landscapes – effects of seed sowing and management history. Biodiversity and Conservation, 15, 957-969.


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 replicated controlled seed addition trial in 2000-2001 in four grasslands subject to different management practices in southeastern Sweden (Lindborg 2006 ) found that seedling emergence was higher in grazed grasslands than in an abandoned grassland. Seedling emergence was similar for six plant species favoured by grazing (target species) and six plant species favoured by no grazing (generalist species) in all four grasslands. The proportion of sown seeds emerging differed among species (range: 1.2-12.6%). The highest proportion of seeds germinated at an intermediate sowing density (20-50 seeds/dm²). Target species recruited well in the former arable fields (grazed for 10 or 30 years) and generalists also recruited well at grazed sites. All sown species performed poorly in the abandoned (40 years ago) grassland. The two grasslands with the longest grazing history (continuously grazed grassland and former arable grazed for 30 years) were positively associated with emergence of target species. There were four grassland types: former arable field grazed for 30 years, former arable field grazed for 10 years, continuously grazed (since 17th century) semi-natural grassland, abandoned semi-natural grassland (previously grazed, abandoned 40 years ago). Seed was collected locally in autumn 2000 and sown within two weeks. Each species was sown in ten 10 x 10 cm plots/grassland at four densities: 10, 21, 46, and 100 seeds. Ten plots were left unsown as controls. Seedling emergence was recorded in June 2001 in randomly placed 1 m² quadrats.

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