Study

How can we effectively restore species richness and natural composition of a Molinia invaded fen?

  • Published source details Hájkova P., Hájek M. & Kintrová K. (2009) How can we effectively restore species richness and natural composition of a Molinia invaded fen? Journal of Applied Ecology, 46, 417-425

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Remove plant litter to maintain or restore disturbance

Action Link
Peatland Conservation

Cut/mow herbaceous plants to maintain or restore disturbance

Action Link
Peatland Conservation
  1. Remove plant litter to maintain or restore disturbance

    A replicated, paired, controlled, before-and-after study in 2002–2007 in a degraded grassy fen in the Czech Republic (Hájkova et al. 2009) found that removing plant litter had no effect on community composition, richness of vascular plants, bryophyte cover or cover of dominant tall moor grass Molinia arundinacea. In plots where litter was removed, the overall plant community composition did not change significantly over five years (data reported as graphical analyses). There was also no change in richness of vascular plants (8–9 species/m2 across all years) and fen-characteristic vascular plants (data not reported), bryophyte cover (9–33% across all years) and moor grass cover (data not reported). These measures also remained stable in plots where litter was not removed. In May 2002, five pairs of 2.5 x 2.5 m plots were established in an abandoned fen, dominated by tall moor grass. Each May until 2007, dead plant litter was raked from one plot/pair. Plant litter was left in the other plots. Each year before litter removal, cover of every plant species was estimated in a 1 m2 quadrat in the centre of each plot.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

  2. Cut/mow herbaceous plants to maintain or restore disturbance

    A replicated, paired, controlled, before-and-after study in 2002–2007 in a degraded grassy fen in the Czech Republic (Hájkova et al. 2009) found that reinstating mowing changed plant community composition, increased vascular plant richness and increased bryophyte cover. In mown (but not unmown) plots, the overall plant community composition changed significantly over five years in favour of fen-characteristic plants (data reported as graphical analyses). Mown plots had higher vascular plant richness than unmown plots after four years (twice-mown: 16–18; once-mown: 13; unmown: 7–9 species/m2) and greater bryophyte cover after two years (twice-mown: 85–95%; once-mown: 64–89%; unmown: 7–13%). Before intervention, all plots had similar vascular plant richness (6–9 species/m2) and bryophyte cover (9–12%). Five blocks of three plots (2.5 x 2.5 m) were established in an abandoned fen, dominated by tall moor grass Molinia arundinacea. Between 2002 and 2007, one plot/block received each mowing treatment: none, mowing in September, or mowing in May and September. Each year before May mowing, cover of every plant species was estimated in a 1 m2 quadrat in the centre of each plot.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

Output references

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