Nature will have its way: local vegetation trumps restoration treatments in semi-natural grassland

  • Published source details Auestad I., Austad I. & Rydgren K. (2015) Nature will have its way: local vegetation trumps restoration treatments in semi-natural grassland. Applied Vegetation Science, 18, 190-196.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Sow native grass and forbs

Action Link
Grassland Conservation
  1. Sow native grass and forbs

    A replicated, randomized, controlled, paired study in 2003–2006 in an unvegetated, former grassland in Norway (Auestad et al. 2015) found that sowing native grass and forb seeds initially increased plant species richness compared to areas where seeds were not sown, but this difference declined over time, and species composition of areas where seeds were sown became more similar to that of areas where seeds were not sown. After one year, the number of species in areas where seeds were sown (19 species/plot) was higher than in areas where seeds were not sown (15 species/plot), but after three years there was no longer a significant difference (seeded: 14 species/plot, unseeded: 12 species/plot). The species composition of sown and unsown areas became more similar over time (result based on ordination analysis). In 2003, all vegetation was removed from the site. Seeds were collected from road verges <10 km from the study area. In sixteen 0.5 x 0.5 m plots, seeds of two grass and 13 forb species were sown at a density of 2,300 seeds/m2, and in 16 plots no seeds were sown. Plant abundance and species richness were recorded in June–August 2004–2006 in each plot.

    (Summarised by: Philip Martin)

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 20

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 Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust