Study

Effects of restoration on plant species richness and composition in Scandinavian semi-natural grasslands

  • Published source details Lindborg R. & Eriksson O. (2004) Effects of restoration on plant species richness and composition in Scandinavian semi-natural grasslands. Restoration Ecology, 12, 318-326.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Restore or create traditional water meadows

Action Link
Farmland Conservation

Restore/create species-rich, semi-natural grassland

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Restore or create traditional water meadows

    A replicated, controlled, site-comparison study of 26 restored semi-natural grasslands in south-eastern Sweden (Lindborg & Eriksson 2004) found that continuously grazed control sites had higher plant species diversity and a higher proportion of typical grassland species in the community than restored grasslands. Plant species diversity at restored sites was 16-20 species/m² compared to 24-30 species/m² at continuously grazed control sites. Total species richness was positively associated with time since restoration (1-7 years) and the abundance of trees and shrubs. Overall species composition differed between restored and control sites, with control sites having a higher proportion of typical grassland species than restored sites. However within grassland types (dry, dry to damp (mesic) or damp to wet), species composition was similar between each pair of restored and control sites. Restored damp to wet grassland was dissimilar in species composition to all other plots. Abundance of 10 grazing-indicator species tended to be lower at restored sites. Restored site area (3-35 ha), time between abandonment and restoration, time since restoration and abundance of trees and shrubs were not related to species composition among restored sites or the 10 grazing-indicator species. Restored sites were grazed before abandonment and after restoration, control sites had been grazed continuously. The six control sites were compared to restored sites in the same region. Plants were sampled within 10 randomly distributed plots (1 m²) in July-August 2001. Trees and shrubs were counted within a 40 m diameter circle at each site.

     

  2. Restore/create species-rich, semi-natural grassland

    A replicated, controlled, site-comparison study of 26 restored semi-natural grasslands in south-eastern Sweden (Lindborg & Eriksson 2004) found that continuously grazed control sites had higher plant species diversity and a higher proportion of typical grassland species in the community than restored grasslands. Plant species diversity at restored sites was 16-20 species/m² compared to 24-30 species/m² at continuously grazed control sites. Total species richness was positively associated with time since restoration (1-7 years) and the abundance of trees and shrubs. Overall species composition differed between restored and control sites, with control sites having a higher proportion of typical grassland species than restored sites. However within grassland types (dry, dry to damp (mesic) or damp to wet), species composition was similar between each pair of restored and control sites. Restored damp to wet grassland was dissimilar in species composition to all other plots. Abundance of 10 grazing-indicator species tended to be lower at restored sites. Restored site area (3-35 ha), time between abandonment and restoration, time since restoration and abundance of trees and shrubs were not related to species composition among restored sites or the 10 grazing-indicator species. Restored sites were grazed before abandonment and after restoration, control sites had been grazed continuously. The six control sites were compared to restored sites in the same region. Plants were sampled within 10 randomly distributed plots (1 m²) in July-August 2001. Trees and shrubs were counted within a 40 m diameter circle at each site.

     

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