Biological habitat reconstruction

  • Published source details Kaule G. & Krebs S. (1989) Biological habitat reconstruction. Pages 161-170 in: G.P. Buckley (ed.) Creating new habitats in intensively used farmland. Belhaven Press, London.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Restore/create species-rich, semi-natural grassland

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Restore/create species-rich, semi-natural grassland

    A replicated, controlled study of grassland restoration within four geological regions in southern Germany (Kaule & Krebs 1989) found that in the first year, natural regeneration following topsoil removal had higher species diversity than sown treatments (47 vs 33-38 species), but sowing tended to reduce pioneer species and perennial weeds. In the first year, the most successful establishment was of nutrient-rich meadows and tall herbaceous vegetation in existing arable soils (no soil removal). Topsoil removal enhanced establishment of semi-dry grassland species (37 vs 33 species), but not other communities. Complete soil removal favoured pioneer, semi-dry grassland and neutral (mesotrophic) edge communities. Isolated plots within fields had lower numbers of species than plots adjacent to existing edge habitats for all treatments. Six communities were sown in plots of 10 x 5 m: control (existing seed bank), semi-dry grassland, nutrient-rich grassland, neutral edge communities, pioneer vegetation and tall herbaceous vegetation. Seeds were collected within a 10 km radius. Establishment methods were complete soil removal, topsoil removal or existing arable soil. Results are from year one of 15 years of monitoring.


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 21

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 ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust