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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Sowing seeds from a nearby species-rich flood meadow aids restoration of a flood meadow on previously intensively managed agricultural land in England

Published source details

McDonald A.W. (1993) The role of seed-bank and sown seeds in the restoration of an English flood-meadow. Journal of Vegetation Science, 4, 395-400


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

Restore or create traditional water meadows Farmland Conservation

A before-and-after study over one year on agricultural land that had been intensively managed in Oxfordshire, UK (McDonald 1993) found that sowing seeds from a nearby species-rich flood meadow aided restoration of the flood meadow. The existing seed bank contained 38 species (66% perennial and 34% annual species), of which only 55% were grassland species, including nine species of wet grassland. Following seed sowing in 1986, 43 species were recorded at the site, of which 61% were perennial and 39% annual species. Of the 53 species that did not germinate, 77% were grassland species, of which six were wet grassland species. To determine the existing seed bank, 12 stratified random soil samples (5000 cm³) were taken from the top 10 cm of recently ploughed soil in April 1986. Twenty-five subsamples (200 cm³) were taken from each and seeds were germinated and identified. Following harvest, seeds that had been harvested from a nearby species-rich flood meadow (Oxey Mead SSSI) in July were sown in October 1986. Plant species presence/absence was recorded in twelve 5 x 5 m quadrats in June 1987.