Study

Forb species establishment increases with decreased grass seeding density and with increased forb seeding density in a northeast Kansas, U.S.A., experimental prairie restoration

  • Published source details Dickson T.L. & Busby W.H. (2009) Forb species establishment increases with decreased grass seeding density and with increased forb seeding density in a northeast Kansas, U.S.A., experimental prairie restoration. Restoration Ecology, 17, 597-605.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Sow seeds at a higher density

Action Link
Grassland Conservation
  1. Sow seeds at a higher density

    A replicated, randomized, paired, controlled study in 2001–2004 in a former agricultural field in Kansas, USA (Dickson & Busby 2009) found that sowing seeds at higher densities increased grass and forb cover, and forb species richness. The results of this study did not allow for statistical significance to be assessed. After 1–3 years, average grass cover was higher in plots where grass seeds were sown at high density (35–78%) than in plots where grass seeds were sown at a low density (23–64%). There was a similar pattern for average forb cover (high density: 38–57%; low density: 24–34%) and forb species richness (high density: 7–8 species/plot; low density: 5–6 species/plot) when forb seeds were sown at high and low densities. The field surrounding the experimental area was sown with native species in May 2001. A few days later, the experimental area was sown with forb and grass seeds at three combinations of densities: low grass/low forbs, low grass/high forbs, high grass/low forbs. Each seeding density was sown in six 2 x 2 m plots. Seeds were hand sown and raked into the bare soil. The entire field was mown in June–July 2001 and 2002, and burned in March 2003. Plant species cover was estimated using a 1-m² quadrat in the centre of each plot in May/June and August/September 2001–2004.

    (Summarised by: Philip Martin)

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