Relative performance of native and exotic grass species in response to amendment of drastically disturbed serpentine substrates

  • Published source details O'Dell R.E. & Claassen V.P. (2006) Relative performance of native and exotic grass species in response to amendment of drastically disturbed serpentine substrates. Journal of Applied Ecology, 43, 898-908.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Add fertilizer to soil before or after seeding/planting

Action Link
Grassland Conservation
  1. Add fertilizer to soil before or after seeding/planting

    A replicated, controlled study in 2004 at a severely disturbed serpentine site in northern California, USA (O'DellĀ & Claassen 2006) found that adding fertilizer before sowing seeds increased the biomass of three native grass species compared to sowing seeds without fertilizer. After five months, above-ground biomass of sown perennial grasses Chinook brome Bromus laevipes and squirreltail Elymus elymoides, and the annual grass small fescue Vulpia microstachys, was higher in plots with compost added (Chinook brome: 0.28 kg/m2; squirreltail: 0.20 kg/m2; small fescue: 1.19 kg/m2) compared to plots without compost (Chinook brome: 0.07 kg/m2; squirreltail: 0.03 kg/m2; small fescue: 0.01 kg/m2). In winter 2004, garden waste compost was added to nine 0.7-m2 plots. No compost was added to nine other plots. All plots were then tilled to a depth of 30 cm. Six plots were broadcast-seeded with each of Chinook brome (500 seeds/m2), squirreltail (300 seeds/m2) or small fescue (1,500 seeds/m2). All seeds were collected locally. Plots were harvested to calculate biomass 165 days after seeding.

    (Summarised by: Philip Martin)

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