Comparing vegetation and soils of remnant and restored wetland prairies in the northern Willamette Valley

  • Published source details Taylor S.M. & Santelmann M.V. (2014) Comparing vegetation and soils of remnant and restored wetland prairies in the northern Willamette Valley. Northwest Science, 88, 329-343.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Restore/create freshwater marshes or swamps (multiple actions)

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Restore/create freshwater marshes or swamps (multiple actions)

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2009–2010 of six wet prairies in Oregon and Washington, USA (Taylor & Santelmann 2014) found that restored prairies contained a different plant community to remnant semi-natural prairies, but had similar richness and cover. Approximately 3–8 years after restoration began, the overall plant community composition significantly differed between restored and remnant prairies (data reported as a graphical analysis). Other vegetation metrics did not significantly differ between restored and remnant prairies. This was true for overall richness (restored: 18–40; remnant: 13–48 taxa/100 m2), native richness (restored: 11–28; remnant: 9–26 taxa/100 m2), native diversity (data reported as a diversity index), overall vegetation cover (restored: 114–164%; remnant: 95–115%), grass cover (restored: 44–108%; remnant: 72–93%) and forb cover (restored: 20–120%; remnant: 2–43%). For data on the abundance of individual plant species, see original paper. Methods: In summer 2009, plant taxa and their cover were recorded in three restored and three remnant seasonally flooded wet prairies (three 100-m2 plots/site, in areas dominated by tufted hairgrass Deschampsia cespitosa). Taxa were also recorded in spring 2010. Restoration of previously drained and “altered” sites involved prescribed burning, annual herbicide application, annual mowing, sowing cover crops and sowing native species (four of these five interventions/site, over 3–8 years). Remnant sites were the best remaining, but not completely undisturbed, wetland prairies in the area. They were also managed with some of the interventions, plus hand weeding.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 18

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust