Study

Restoring limestone quarries: hayseed, commercial seed mixture or spontaneous succession?

  • Published source details Gilardelli F., Sgorbati S., Citterio S. & Gentili R. (2016) Restoring limestone quarries: hayseed, commercial seed mixture or spontaneous succession?. Land Degradation and Development, 27, 316-324.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

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

Action Link
Grassland Conservation

Sow grassland seeds from a local source

Action Link
Grassland Conservation
  1. Spray slurry of seed, mulch and water (‘hydroseeding’)

    A replicated, controlled study in 2011–2012 in an abandoned quarry site in northern Italy (Gilardelli et al. 2016) found that hydroseeding had mixed effects on plant species richness but increased the height of herbaceous vegetation. These results are not based on statistical analyses. After one year, areas where hydroseeding was carried out using local seeds had higher average plant species richness (16 species/plot) than areas where no seeds were sown (13 species/plot). However, plant species richness was lower in areas where hydroseeding was carried out using a commercial seed mix (10 species/plot). The average height of herbaceous plants was greater in areas that were hydroseeded with local seeds (100 cm) and commercial seeds (93 cm) than in areas where no seeds were sown (16 cm). In June 2011, the site was remodelled to create three 200-m2 terraced areas that were almost flat and topsoil was added. Two areas were hydroseeded at a rate of 36–40 g/m2 with either a commercial grassland seed mix or locally-collected hay seeds, while one area was not seeded. Shrubs and trees were planted in all three areas. Plants were watered in 2012 during dry periods. In June 2012, vegetation was surveyed in three 3 x 3 m randomly located plots in each area.

    (Summarised by: Philip Martin)

  2. Sow grassland seeds from a local source

    A replicated, controlled study in 2011–2012 in an abandoned quarry site in northern Italy (Gilardelli et al. 2016) found that sowing grassland seeds from a local source increased plant species richness, but did not alter the height of herbaceous vegetation, compared to sowing a commercial seed mix. These results are not based on statistical analyses. After one year, areas sown with local seeds had higher average plant species richness (16 species/plot) than areas sown with a commercial seed mix (10 species/plot). The average height of herbaceous plants was similar between areas sown with local seeds (100 cm) and a commercial seed mix (93 cm). In June 2011, the site was remodelled to create two 200-m2 terraced areas that were almost flat and topsoil was added. One area was sown with hay seeds harvested from a nearby grassland at a rate of 36 g/m2, while the other was sown with a commercial seed mix of grassland species. Shrubs and trees were planted in both areas. Plants were watered in 2012 during dry periods. In June 2012, vegetation was surveyed in three 3 x 3 m randomly located plots in each area.

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

Output references
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