Study

Vegetation and ecological gradients in abandoned salt pans in western France

  • Published source details Bouzillé J.B., Kernéis E., Bonis A. & Touzard B. (2001) Vegetation and ecological gradients in abandoned salt pans in western France. Journal of Vegetation Science, 12, 269-278.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Abandon mined land: allow brackish/saline marshes or swamps to recover without active intervention

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Abandon mined land: allow brackish/saline marshes or swamps to recover without active intervention

    A replicated study in 1990 of 40 abandoned salt pans in northwest France (Bouzillé et al. 2001) reported that they contained a range of plant community types, depending on the duration of flooding and soil salinity. In areas flooded for long periods (>277 days/year on average) and with low soil salinities (<2.5 mS/cm on average), common and/or abundant species included shoreline sedge Carex riparia, yellow flag Iris pseudacorus, branched bur-reed Sparganium erectum and cuckoo flower Cardamine pratensis. In areas flooded for shorter periods (122–132 days/year on average) and with higher soil salinities (3.3–4.3 mS/cm on average), common and/or abundant species included saltmarsh rush Juncus gerardii and bulbous foxtail Alopecurus bulbosus. Some areas were never flooded and developed upland plant communities. Community data were reported as a graphical analysis, frequency classes and cover classes. Methods: In May 1990, plant species and their cover were recorded in three quadrats (one low elevation, one medium, one high) in each of 40 abandoned salt pans (no artificial inputs of salt water for 150 years). Some sites were still affected by adjacent drainage ditches. Some grazing and/or mowing had occurred on the sites since abandonment.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

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