Study

Natural regeneration following topsoil removal had higher species diversity than sown treatments, but sowing tended to reduce pioneer species and perennial weeds

  • 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.

Actions

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

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