Assessing grassland restoration success: relative roles of seed additions and native ungulate activities

  • Published source details Martin L.M. & Wilsey B.J. (2006) Assessing grassland restoration success: relative roles of seed additions and native ungulate activities. Journal of Applied Ecology, 43, 1098-1109.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Sow native grass and forbs

Action Link
Grassland Conservation
  1. Sow native grass and forbs

    A replicated, paired, controlled study in 2003–2004 in a former arable field prairie restoration site in Iowa, USA (Martin & Wilsey 2006) found that sowing with grass and forb seeds increased the number of seedlings and species richness of seedlings. There were more seedlings in areas where seeds were sown (104–156 seedlings/m2) than in areas where no seeds were sown (85–139 seedlings/m2). The same pattern was seen for seedling species richness (seeded: 3.0–5.8 species/0.1 m2; unseeded: 2.5–2.8 species/0.1 m2). In June 2003 and April 2004, forty-eight 1-m2 plots were sown with seeds at a rate of 19,700 seeds/m2 and 24 plots were not sown with seed. Seedling numbers and species richness were estimated once a month during the growing season using a 50 x 20 cm quadrat. Herbivore density in the restoration site was approximately 0.1 bison/ha and 0.05 elk/ha. Prescribed burning was carried out at the site every two years and the site was mowed to control weeds. The plots used in the study were not mowed or burned in 2003 or 2004.

    (Summarised by: Philip Martin)

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