Study

Nine years of vegetation development in a postmining site: effects of spontaneous and assisted site recovery

  • Published source details Baasch A., Kirmer A. & Tischew S. (2012) Nine years of vegetation development in a postmining site: effects of spontaneous and assisted site recovery. Journal of Applied Ecology, 49, 251-260.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Sow native grass and forbs

Action Link
Grassland Conservation
  1. Sow native grass and forbs

    A replicated, randomized, paired, controlled study in 2000–2009 in a former mine in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany (Baasch et al. 2012) found that sowing native grass and forb seeds increased cover of target grassland species, reduced cover of non-grassland species and initially increased total plant cover and species richness. After nine years, the cover of target grassland plant species was higher in areas where seeds were sown (72%) than areas where no seeds were sown (29%). The opposite was true for non-grassland species (seed: 14%; no seed: 47%). Total plant cover was higher in areas where seeds were sown after two to seven years (43–97%) than where no seeds were sown (6–66%). However, after eight years there was no longer any significant difference in plant cover (seed: 72%; no seed: 66%). After one year, plant species richness was higher in areas where seeds were sown (seed: 65 species/plot; no seed: 43 species/plot), but the number of species declined in seeded plots so that after five years there were fewer species in seeded areas (seed: 18 species/plot; no seed: 48 species/plot). After nine years, there was no longer any significant difference in species richness between seeded (41 species/plot) and unseeded areas (48 species/plot). In September 2000, three blocks were established, each with two 70 × 18 m plots. Seeds of 21 grass and forb species were sown at a density of 860 seeds/m2 in one plot in each block, and no seeds were sown in the other plot. A mulch layer (5 cm thick) was also added to sown plots. In June 2001–2009 (except for 2003), the vegetation cover of all species was estimated using three 25-m2 quadrats in each plot.

     

    (Summarised by: Philip Martin)

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