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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Sod cutting results in restoration of a wet meadow community on former agricultural land and alder carr in the Netherlands

Published source details

Jansen A.J.M. & Roelofs J.G.M. (1996) The restoration of Cirsio-Molinietum wet meadows by sod cutting. Ecological Engineering, 7, 279-298


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 study of a degraded wet meadow in eastern Netherlands (Jansen & Roelofs 1996) found that a wet meadow plant community (Cirsio-Molinietum community) established within five years after topsoil removal (5-15 cm topsoil layer removed) on former agricultural land and alder carr. Almost all of the highly productive plant species had disappeared in that time. In contrast, species of the same wet meadow plant community remained rare or absent in the adjacent nutrient-rich (eutrophicated) wet meadow, in areas with and without topsoil removal. This may have been due to prolonged inundation resulting from the topsoil removal. Topsoil removal was undertaken in three areas of Lemselermaten nature reserve: a section of the nutrient-rich wet meadow (1991; ‘old reserve’) and the adjacent former agricultural grassland and alder carr (1989; ‘new reserve’). Vegetation was then mown annually in these areas and in the remainder of the nutrient-rich wet meadow. Three transects were established, one in the new reserve and two in the old reserve (with and without sod cutting). Vegetation cover and abundance was surveyed in several plots (4 m²) along each transect annually (July-August 1992-1994).