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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Recovery of pristine boreal forest floor community after selective removal of understorey, ground and humus layers

Published source details

Hautala H., Tolvanen A. & Nuortila C. (2008) Recovery of pristine boreal forest floor community after selective removal of understorey, ground and humus layers. Plant Ecology, 194, 273-282


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

Use soil disturbance to enhance germination (excluding scarification or ploughing) Forest Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in 1994-1999 in boreal forest in Finland (Hautala, Tolvanen & Nuortila 2008) found that removal of all vegetation (including bryophytes and lichens) decreased the cover of bryophytes and lichens after five years, while also removing the top soil layer containing organic matter (humus layer) decreased the cover of all understory vegetation. Total cover of dwarf shrubs, herbaceous plants and grasses was lower with removal of vegetation and the humus layer (<5%) than with removal of just the vegetation (~80%). Cover of bryophytes and lichens was lower with removal of vegetation and the humus layer (25%) than with removal of just the vegetation (50%), and highest in the control (75%). Data were collected in 1999 in ten plots (0.5 m2) of each vegetation removal, removal of vegetation and humus layer and control (no removal) plots. Treatments applied in 1994.