Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: A review of the success of commonly used wet meadow restoration methods (rewetting, topsoil removal, and diaspore addition) in Western Europe

Published source details

Klimkowska A., Van Diggelen R., Bakker J.P. & Grootjans A.P. (2007) A review of the success of commonly used wet meadow restoration methods (rewetting, topsoil removal, and diaspore addition) in Western Europe. Biological Conservation, 140, 318-328


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Restore or create traditional water meadows Farmland Conservation

A 2007 review of data from 36 wet meadows, in the Netherlands (majority), Germany and the UK (Klimkowska et al. 2007) found that restoration attempts have largely had limited success. On average, projects have resulted in an average increase in species richness below 10% of the target community. The more species-rich the meadow was at the start, the closer it was to the target community after restoration, however, there was a corresponding smaller increase in the number of target species. A combination of topsoil removal (deeper than 20 cm) and introducing seedlings (e.g. see (Patzelt et al. 2001, Verhagen et al. 2001, Hölzel & Otte 2003)) and a combination of these with rewetting, appeared most effective (an increase in ‘saturation index’ of up to 16%; this index reflects the completeness of restored communities in comparison to target communities). Rewetting alone appeared an ineffective restoration method. Data were obtained from professional networks, experts, peer-reviewed published sources and project records.