Study

The restoration of sedge meadows: seed viability, seed germination requirements, and seedling growth of Carex species

  • Published source details van der Valk A.G., Bremholm T.L. & Gordon E. (1999) The restoration of sedge meadows: seed viability, seed germination requirements, and seedling growth of Carex species. Wetlands, 19, 756-764

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Add upland topsoil before/after planting non-woody plants: freshwater wetlands

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation

Add below-ground organic matter before/after planting non-woody plants: freshwater wetlands

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation

Add upland topsoil before/after planting non-woody plants: freshwater wetlands

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation

Add inorganic fertilizer before/after planting non-woody plants: freshwater wetlands

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation

Add below-ground organic matter before/after planting non-woody plants: freshwater wetlands

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation

Add inorganic fertilizer before/after planting non-woody plants: freshwater wetlands

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation

Add below-ground organic matter before/after planting non-woody plants: freshwater wetlands

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation

Directly plant non-woody plants: freshwater wetlands

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Add upland topsoil before/after planting non-woody plants: freshwater wetlands

    A replicated, controlled study in 1992 in a greenhouse in Iowa, USA (van der Valk et al. 1999) found that mixing topsoil into mineral soil typically increased the number of shoots and above-ground biomass of planted tussock sedge Carex stricta seedlings, whether topsoil was the only soil amendment or was additional to other amendments. After three months, sedge seedlings planted into a mixture of topsoil and mineral soil were larger (8.8 shoots/plant; 1.6 g/plant) than seedlings planted into mineral soil only (3.3 shoots/plant; 0.6 g/plant). Adding topsoil also increased the size of sedge seedlings in four of six comparisons where it was an additional treatment (i.e. added to pots that were fertilized and/or amended with compost; see original paper for data). In the other two comparisons, topsoil did not have a significant additional effect on sedge size. Methods: In March 1992, tussock sedge seedlings (6–8 weeks old) were planted into 144 pots (probably one seedling/pot). In half of the pots, topsoil was mixed in equal parts with whatever other soil was in the pots (deeper mineral soil, sometimes mixed with compost). Some pots with and without topsoil were also fertilized. All pots were watered to saturation. In June 1992, all sedge shoots were counted, harvested, dried and weighed.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

  2. Add below-ground organic matter before/after planting non-woody plants: freshwater wetlands

    A replicated, controlled study in 1992 in a greenhouse in Iowa, USA (van der Valk et al. 1999) found that mixing compost alone into mineral soil increased the number of shoots and above-ground biomass of planted tussock sedge Carex stricta seedlings, but typically had no significant effect on top of other soil amendments. After three months, sedge seedlings planted into a mixture of compost and mineral soil were larger (6.4 shoots/plant; 1.6 g/plant) than seedlings planted into mineral soil only (3.3 shoots/plant; 0.6 g/plant). Adding compost had no significant effect on sedge size in four of six other comparisons where it was an additional treatment (i.e. added to pots that were fertilized and/or amended with topsoil; see original paper for data). However, compost did increase sedge shoot density when added to fertilized pots (compost + fertilizer: 8.9 shoots/plant; fertilizer only: 5.4 shoots/plant) and sedge biomass when added to topsoil-amended pots (compost + topsoil: 2.1 g/plant; topsoil only: 1.6 g/plant). Methods: In March 1992, tussock sedge seedlings (6–8 weeks old) were planted into 144 pots (probably one seedling/pot). In half of the pots, compost was mixed in equal parts with whatever other soil was in the pots (mineral soil, sometimes mixed with topsoil). Some composted and uncomposted pots were also fertilized. All pots were watered to saturation. In June 1992, all sedge shoots were counted, harvested, dried and weighed.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

  3. Add upland topsoil before/after planting non-woody plants: freshwater wetlands

    A replicated, paired, controlled study in 1992 in a wet meadow restoration site in Iowa, USA (van der Valk et al. 1999) reported that adding topsoil to plots before planting tussock sedge Carex stricta seedlings had no clear effect on the number of shoots they developed. Two weeks after planting, sedges assigned to each treatment had a statistically similar number of shoots (4.7–5.8 shoots/plant). After two months, sedge seedlings in plots amended with topsoil had a similar number of shoots (12.2–15.5 shoots/plant) to seedlings in plots that had not been amended with topsoil (11.8–15.2 shoots/plant). This was true when topsoil was the only amendment to mineral soil plots (statistically tested), or when topsoil was an additional amendment to plots already amended with compost (not statistically tested). Methods: In June 1992, tussock sedge seedlings were planted into twelve sets of four 1-m2 plots of mineral soil (topsoil had been removed). The number of seedlings/plot was not clearly reported. Fresh topsoil was rototilled into the surface of half of the plots (two plots/set). Some plots were also amended with compost.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

  4. Add inorganic fertilizer before/after planting non-woody plants: freshwater wetlands

    A replicated, controlled study in 1992 in a greenhouse in Iowa, USA (van der Valk et al. 1999) found that fertilizing mineral soil increased the number of shoots and above-ground biomass of planted tussock sedge Carex stricta seedlings, but that fertilization typically had no significant effect after adding compost or topsoil. After three months and for plantings in mineral soil, fertilized seedlings were larger (5.4 shoots/plant; 1.3 g/plant) than unfertilized seedlings (3.3 shoots/plant; 0.6 g/plant). In contrast, in five of six comparisons involving plantings in mineral soil mixed with compost and/or topsoil, there was no significant difference in the size of fertilized seedlings (8.3–8.8 shoots/plant; 1.6–2.1 g/plant) and unfertilized seedlings (7.7–9.6 shoots/plant; 1.6–2.2 g/plant). Methods: In March 1992, tussock sedge seedlings were planted into 144 pots (probably one seedling/pot). Half of the pots were fertilized with Greensweep liquid lawn food (dose not clearly reported). All pots contained deep mineral soil, sometimes with compost and/or topsoil mixed in. They were watered to saturation. In June 1992, all sedge shoots were counted, harvested, dried and weighed.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

  5. Add below-ground organic matter before/after planting non-woody plants: freshwater wetlands

    A replicated, controlled study in 1992–1993 in a greenhouse in Iowa, USA (van der Valk et al. 1999) found that adding organic matter to pots increased the above-ground biomass of tussock sedge Carex stricta seedlings. After three months, sedge seedlings planted into a mixture of compost and sand had developed more above-ground biomass (0.12–0.46 g/plant) than seedlings planted into sand only (0.02 g/plant). Above-ground sedge biomass was greater in pots with higher proportions of compost (e.g. 90% compost: 0.46 g/plant; 50% compost: 0.33 g/plant; 10% compost: 0.12 g/plant). Methods: In October 1992, two- to four-week-old tussock sedge seedlings were planted into 144 pots (probably one seedling/pot). Of these pots, 128 contained some composted garden waste (16 pots for each of 8 proportions: 10%, 20%, 33%, 50%, 67%, 80%, 90% or 100% compost vs sterile sand). The final 16 pots contained sterile sand only. Plants were harvested, dried and weighed in January 1993.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

  6. Add inorganic fertilizer before/after planting non-woody plants: freshwater wetlands

    A replicated, paired, controlled study in 1992 in a wet meadow restoration site in Iowa, USA (van der Valk et al. 1999) found that adding fertilizer to mineral soil plots before planting tussock sedge Carex stricta seedlings increased the number of shoots they developed, but reported that fertilization had no clear effect after adding compost or topsoil. Two weeks after planting, sedges assigned to each treatment had a statistically similar number of shoots (4.7–5.8 shoots/plant). After two months and for plantings in mineral soil, seedlings in fertilized plots had developed significantly more shoots than seedlings in unfertilized plots (data not reported). In contrast, in two of two comparisons involving plantings in mineral soil amended with compost and/or topsoil, the number of shoots did not clearly differ between fertilized seedlings (11.5–14.3 shoots/plant) and unfertilized seedlings (12.2–15.5 shoots/plant). Statistical significance of these differences was not assessed. Methods: In June 1992, tussock sedge seedlings were planted into twelve sets of six 1-m2 plots of mineral soil (topsoil had been removed). The number of seedlings/plot was not clearly reported. Granular fertilizer (Scott’s® Starter Fertilizer) was rototilled into the surface of half of the plots (three plots/set). Some plots were also amended with topsoil and/or compost.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

  7. Add below-ground organic matter before/after planting non-woody plants: freshwater wetlands

    A replicated, paired, controlled study in 1992 in a wet meadow restoration site in Iowa, USA (van der Valk et al. 1999) reported that adding compost to plots before planting tussock sedge Carex stricta seedlings increased the number of shoots they developed, whether compost was the only soil amendment or was additional to other amendments. Two weeks after planting, sedges assigned to each treatment had a statistically similar number of shoots (4.7–5.8 shoots/plant). After two months, sedge seedlings in plots amended with compost had more shoots (15.2 shoots/plant) than seedlings planted into unamended mineral soil (11.8 shoots/plant). The pattern was the same where compost was added to plots receiving other soil amendments, but statistical significance of these comparisons was not assessed (topsoil and/or fertilizer + compost: 14.3–15.5 shoots/plant; topsoil and/or fertilizer only: 11.5–12.2 shoots/plant). Methods: In June 1992, tussock sedge seedlings were planted into twelve sets of eight 1-m2 plots of mineral soil (topsoil had been removed). The number of seedlings/plot was not clearly reported. Composted garden waste was rototilled into the surface of half of the plots (four plots/set). Some plots were also amended with topsoil and/or fertilized.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

  8. Directly plant non-woody plants: freshwater wetlands

    A replicated, paired, controlled study in 1992 in a wet meadow restoration site in Iowa, USA (van der Valk et al. 1999) reported that the number of shoots on tussock sedge Carex stricta seedlings increased over two months after planting. Statistical significance was not assessed. Two weeks after planting, there were 4.7–5.8 shoots/plant. Two months after planting, there were 11.5–15.5 shoots/plant. Adding compost or fertilizer sometimes increased the number of shoots/plant, but adding topsoil never had a clear effect (see Actions: Add upland topsoil before/after planting, Add inorganic fertilizer before/after planting and Add below-ground organic matter before/after planting). Methods: In June 1992, tussock sedge seedlings were planted into twelve sets of eight 1-m2 plots of mineral soil (topsoil had been removed). The number of seedlings/plot was not clearly reported. Seven plots/set were amended with topsoil, Scott’s® Starter Fertilizer and/or composted garden waste.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

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