Study

Dominant plant species modulate responses to hydroseeding, irrigation and fertilization during the restoration of semiarid motorway slopes

  • Published source details García-Palacios P., Soliveres S., Maestre F.T., Escudero A., Castillo-Monroy A.P. & Valladares F. (2010) Dominant plant species modulate responses to hydroseeding, irrigation and fertilization during the restoration of semiarid motorway slopes. Ecological Engineering, 36, 1290-1298.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Irrigate before or after seeding/planting

Action Link
Grassland Conservation

Spray slurry of seed, mulch and water (‘hydroseeding’)

Action Link
Grassland Conservation

Add fertilizer to soil before or after seeding/planting

Action Link
Grassland Conservation
  1. Irrigate before or after seeding/planting

    A replicated, randomized, paired, controlled study in 2006–2008 on five motorway verges in central Spain (Garcia-Palacios et al. 2010) found that irrigating after sowing non-native seeds increased plant cover but not plant diversity in most cases compared to sowing without irrigating. No statistical tests were carried out in this study. In six of 10 comparisons, overall plant cover was on average higher in plots that were irrigated and sown with seeds (54–89%) than in plots that were sown with seeds and not irrigated (49–71%), while in four comparisons plant cover was lower in irrigated plots (54–58% vs 55–65%). In four of 10 comparisons, plant diversity was higher in plots that were irrigated and sown with seeds than in sown plots that were not irrigated, while in six comparisons plant diversity was lower (data reported as Shannon diversity index). In December 2006, at each of five sites, two 1 × 1 m plots in each of six random blocks were sown with a commercial non-native seed mixture. One plot/block was irrigated in March–June 2007 and 2008 at a rate equivalent to 50% of the average monthly precipitation recorded in 1971–2000, while the other plot was not irrigated. In May 2007 and 2008, the cover of all plants was visually assessed in each plot.

     

    (Summarised by: Philip Martin)

  2. Spray slurry of seed, mulch and water (‘hydroseeding’)

    A replicated, randomized, paired, controlled study in 2006–2008 on five motorway verges in central Spain (Garcia-Palacios et al. 2010) found that hydroseeding with non-native grass species led to an increase in plant cover but not plant diversity in most cases. No statistical tests were carried out in this study. In seven of ten comparisons, overall plant cover was on average higher in plots where non-native grass species were hydroseeded (49–61%) than in plots not sown with seeds (42–61%), while in three comparisons vegetation cover was lower in hydroseeded plots (40–58% vs 43–60%). In four of ten comparisons, plant diversity was higher in plots where non-native grass species were hydroseeded than in plots where no seeds were sown, while in six comparisons plant diversity was lower (data reported as Shannon diversity index). In December 2006, six random blocks containing two 1 × 1 m plots were established at each of five sites. In each block, one plot was hydroseeded with a mix of non-native seeds (30 g/m2), soil stabilizer (10 g/m2), wood fiber mulch (100 g/m2) and water (3 l/m2), and one plot was not sown with seed. In May 2007 and 2008, the cover of all plants was visually assessed in each plot.

    (Summarised by: Philip Martin)

  3. Add fertilizer to soil before or after seeding/planting

    A replicated, randomized, paired, controlled study in 2006–2008 on five motorway verges in central Spain (Garcia-Palacios et al. 2010) found that adding fertilizer and sowing seeds of non-native plants increased plant cover and plant diversity in four of 10 comparisons compared to sowing alone. No statistical tests were carried out in this study. In four of 10 comparisons, plots where fertilizer was added and seeds were sown had on average greater overall plant cover (65–72%) and plant diversity (data reported as Shannon diversity index) than plots where seeds were sown but no fertilizer was added (plant cover: 61–71%). In the other six comparisons, sown plots with fertiliser added had lower or equal plant cover (49–55%) and diversity compared to sown plots without fertilizer added (plant cover: 49–65%) In December 2006, at each of five sites, two 1 × 1 m plots in each of six random blocks were sown with a commercial non-native seed mixture. A slow-release inorganic fertilizer was added to one plot/block in December 2006 and January 2008, while the other plot was not fertilized. In May 2007 and 2008, the cover of all plants was visually assessed in each plot.

    (Summarised by: Philip Martin)

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