A review of efforts to restore species-rich grasslands in France shows that the process takes eight years or more and does not always work as expected
Published source details
Muller S., Dutoit T., Allard D. & Grevilliot F. (1998) Restoration and rehabilitation of species-rich grassland ecosystems in France: a review. Restoration Ecology, 6, 94-101
Published source details Muller S., Dutoit T., Allard D. & Grevilliot F. (1998) Restoration and rehabilitation of species-rich grassland ecosystems in France: a review. Restoration Ecology, 6, 94-101
This study is summarised as evidence for the following.
Restore or create traditional water meadowsAction Link
Reduce chemical inputs in grassland managementAction Link
Restore/create species-rich, semi-natural grasslandAction Link
Restore or create traditional water meadows
A 1998 review of case studies in France, gathered from published and unpublished literature (Muller et al. 1998) reported one French study showing an increase in plant species richness (from 5 to 10-25 species over four years) on a wet grassland in Brittany following introduction of grazing by Camargue horses (Rozé 1993).
Rozé F. (1993) Successions végétales après pâturage extensif par des chevaux dans une roselière [Successional patterns after extensive grazing by horses in a Phragmites australis plant community]. Bulletin d’Ecologie, 24, 203-209.
Reduce chemical inputs in grassland management
A 1998 review of case studies in France, gathered from published and unpublished literature (Muller et al. 1998) found no monitoring results from France for the effects of reduced management intensity on agriculturally improved grasslands. Three Dutch studies were cited (including (Berendse et al. 1992)) which showed that stopping fertilization does not cause a rapid increase in plant species richness.
Restore/create species-rich, semi-natural grassland
A 1998 review of case studies in France gathered from published and unpublished literature on grasslands (Muller et al. 1998) found that the restoration process generally takes eight years or more and does not always work as expected. Fifty-one case studies were identified across France (including 16 on wet grassland). Most were not discussed in detail. On chalk grassland, one study showed an increase in a plant species diversity index over three years in response to mowing (Dutoit 1996). On meadows degraded by engineering work or ski tracks, seven studies were found demonstrating that grasslands can be artificially re-created, but that it takes many years. One study, for example, demonstrated that achieving vegetation similar to the original vegetation took nine years (Bédécarrats 1991). Another demonstrated how, over eight years, sown species gradually disappeared to be replaced by a newly created grassland with a different plant community from the original (Maman 1985, Coin 1992).
Maman L. (1985) La dynamique de la vegetation sur les ouvrages des aménagements hydroélectriques du Rhône. PhD thesis. University of Grenoble, Grenoble, France.
Bédécarrats A. (1991) Dynamique des enherbements des pistes de ski en Savoie et leur gestion pastorale. Pages 77-80 in: IVth International Rangeland Congress, Association Française de Pastoralisme, Montpellier, France.
Coin R. (1992) Variabilité spatio-temporelle des communautés végétales artificielles sur les ouvrages des aménagements hydroélectriques: enseignements en vue d’améliorer les techniques de végétalisation. PhD thesis. University of Grenoble, Grenoble, France.
Dutoit T. (1996) Dynamique et gestion des pelouses calcaires de Haute-Normandie. Presses Universitaires de Rouen, Rouen, France.