Study

Why some species cannot colonise restored habitats? The effects of seed and microsite availability

  • Published source details Piqueray J., Saad L., Bizoux J.P. & Mahy G. (2013) Why some species cannot colonise restored habitats? The effects of seed and microsite availability. Journal for Nature Conservation, 21, 189-197.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Sow grassland forb species

Action Link
Grassland Conservation

Remove leaf litter before seeding/planting

Action Link
Grassland Conservation

Remove vegetation before seeding/planting

Action Link
Grassland Conservation
  1. Sow grassland forb species

    A replicated, controlled study in 2006–2007 in five grassland restoration sites in Belgium (Piqueray et al. 2013) found that sowing seeds of grassland forbs did not increase the number of seedlings for three forb species. The average number of pasqueflower Pulsatilla vulgaris seedlings did not differ significantly between plots where seeds were sown (0.6 seedlings/plot) and plots where seeds were not sown (0 seedlings/plot). Two other species, mountain clover Trifolium montanum and prostrate speedwell Veronica prostrata, did not germinate in either sown or unsown plots. In May–August 2007, at each of five sites, 25 seeds of pasqueflower, mountain clover or prostrate speedwell were sown in four 1 x 1 m plots, and in four plots no seeds were sown. All sites were former forest stands that were clearcut and restored to grassland 3–14 years before the study. In May 2008, the number of seedlings in each plot was counted.

    (Summarised by: Philip Martin)

  2. Remove leaf litter before seeding/planting

    A replicated, controlled study in 2006–2007 in five grassland restoration sites in Belgium (Piqueray et al. 2013) found that removing leaf litter, along with removing vegetation, before sowing forb seeds increased the number of seedlings for one of three sown species. For one sown species, pasqueflower Pulsatilla vulgaris, the average number of seedlings was higher in plots where litter and vegetation were removed before sowing (3 seedlings/plot) than in plots where litter and vegetation were not removed before sowing (0.6 seedlings/plot). The two other sown species, mountain clover Trifolium montanum and prostrate speedwell Veronica prostrata, did not germinate in sown plots with or without litter and vegetation removal. In May–August 2007, at each of five sites, leaf litter and vegetation were removed in four 1 x 1 m plots after which 25 seeds of Pulsatilla vulgaris, Trifolium montanum or Veronica prostrata were sown. In another four plots, seeds were sown but litter and vegetation were not removed. All sites were former forest stands that were clearcut and restored to grassland 3–14 years before the study. In May 2008, the number of seedlings in each plot was counted.

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

  3. Remove vegetation before seeding/planting

    A replicated, controlled study in 2006–2007 in five grassland restoration sites in Belgium (Piqueray et al. 2013) found that removing vegetation, along with removing leaf litter, before sowing forb seeds increased the number of seedlings for one of three sown species compared to sowing alone. For one sown species, pasqueflower Pulsatilla vulgaris, the average number of seedlings was higher in plots where vegetation and litter were removed before sowing (3 seedlings/plot) than in plots where vegetation and litter were not removed before sowing (0.6 seedlings/plot). The two other sown species, mountain clover Trifolium montanum and prostrate speedwell Veronica prostrata, did not germinate in sown plots with or without vegetation and litter removal. In May–August 2007, at each of five sites, vegetation and litter were removed in four 1 x 1 m plots after which 25 seeds of Pulsatilla vulgaris, Trifolium montanum or Veronica prostrata were sown. In another four plots, seeds were sown but vegetation and litter were not removed. All sites were former forest stands that were clear cut and restored to grassland 3–14 years before the study. In May 2008, the number of seedlings in each plot was counted.

    (Summarised by: Philip Martin)

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