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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Topsoil removal, hay transfer from a species-rich meadow and exclusion of livestock aid restoration of a degraded fen meadow in Central Poland

Published source details

Klimkowska A., Kotowski W. & Van Diggelen R. (2010) Vegetation re-development after fen meadow restoration by topsoil removal and hay transfer. Restoration Ecology, 18, 924-933


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

Exclude livestock from semi-natural habitat (including woodland) Farmland Conservation

A replicated, controlled study of a degraded species-poor meadow in Central Poland (Klimkowska et al. 2010) found that livestock exclusion had less of an effect on the restoration of plant community composition than topsoil removal and hay transfer. Deep soil removal (40 cm) with hay addition resulted in a community closest to the donor meadows, particularly where grazing was excluded. Species richness in grazed plots was slightly higher after hay transfer (23 vs 18 without transfer); in non-grazed plots hay transfer had no effect. Two plots (35 x 35 m) were subdivided to test combinations of the following treatments: topsoil removal (to 20 or 40 cm), hay transfer from a nearby meadow (collected mid-July 2004-2005, partly dried, stored for 1.5 months, spread in 5-7 cm layer) and livestock/exclusion. Data were obtained from plots on plant species distribution and abundance (2004-2007) and biomass (2006-2007); species composition of degraded meadows and donor meadow were also collected (2004, 2006 and 2007). The soil seed bank (top 5 cm) at the two topsoil removal depths and seed content of hay were also sampled in 2004.

 

Restore or create traditional water meadows Farmland Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in 2004-2007 of a degraded species-poor meadow in central Poland (Klimkowska et al. 2010) found that deep topsoil removal (40 cm), hay transfer from a species-rich meadow and exclusion of livestock resulted in a community most similar to the target vegetation. Shallow soil removal (20 cm) with hay transfer resulted in a community more similar to the degraded meadows. Hay transfer appeared to speed up the establishment of the target vegetation. Two plots (35 x 35 m) were subdivided to test combinations of the following treatments: topsoil removal (to 20 or 40 cm), hay transfer from a nearby meadow (collected mid-July 2004-2005, partly dried, stored for 1.5 months, spread in 5-7 cm layer) and livestock exclusion. Data were obtained from plots on plant species distribution and abundance (2004-2007) and biomass (2006-2007), species composition of degraded meadows and donor meadow were also collected (2004, 2006, 2007). The soil seed bank (top 5 cm) at the two topsoil removal depths and seed content of hay were also sampled in 2004.