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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Artificial dispersal (plug transplants and seed sowing) as a plant restoration tool in wooded hay meadows in south Gotland, Sweden

Published source details

Wallin L., Svensson B.M. & Lönn M. (2009) Artificial dispersal as a restoration tool in meadows: sowing or planting? Restoration Ecology, 17, 270-279


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Restore/create species-rich, semi-natural grassland Farmland Conservation

A replicated, controlled study of five wooded hay meadows on the island of Gotland in Sweden (Wallin et al. 2009) found that plug plants were over twice as effective as sowing for plant establishment. Devil’s-bit scabious Succisa pratensis plugs established in all plots after two growing seasons and seeds in 45% plots. Spotted cat's-ear Hypochoeris maculata plugs established in 81% of plots and seeds in 33%. Germination rate of seeds varied between donor sites, particularly for devil’s-bit scabious (0-11% germination rate), spotted cat's-ear varied only slightly (7-10%). Litter removal did not affect devil’s-bit scabious germination or survival, for spotted cat's-ear the effect of raking on survival depended on donor site. The four donor sites were species-rich, traditionally managed meadows. At the three recipient sites, eight 72 x 72 cm plots were established, each divided into sixteen 18 x 18 cm sub-plots. For each species, six sub-plots had seeds (50 seeds/subplot) and four-month-old plugs (two plugs/subplot) introduced. Four control sub-plots had no seed or plugs. Seeds were sown in October 2003 and plugs planted in May 2004. Litter was removed from half of each plot (randomly selected). Emerging seedlings were recorded in May 2004, survival in October 2005 and plug survival in October 2005.