Study

Sowing of low and high diversity seed mixtures in ecological restoration of surface mined-land

  • Published source details Kirmer A., Baasch A. & Tischew S. (2012) Sowing of low and high diversity seed mixtures in ecological restoration of surface mined-land. Applied Vegetation Science, 15, 198-207.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Sow grassland seeds from a local source

Action Link
Grassland Conservation

Increase number of species in seed mix

Action Link
Grassland Conservation

Add mulch before or after seeding/planting

Action Link
Grassland Conservation
  1. Sow grassland seeds from a local source

    A replicated, controlled study in 2004–2010 at a former mining site in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany (Kirmer et al. 2012) found that sowing grassland seeds from a local source, along with increasing the number of species in a seed mix, led to an increase in the species richness and cover of target plants. After six years, plots sown with a high diversity local seed mix had on average a greater number and cover of target plant species (28 species, 83% cover) than plots sown with a low diversity non-local seed mix (12 species, 36% cover). In December 2004, three blocks were established on an unvegetated area (240 x 50 m) of boulder clay mixed with sand. In each block, one plot was sown with a high diversity mix of seeds from a local source (11 grass and 40 herb species, sown at 36 kg/ha), and one plot was sown with a low diversity mix of non-local seeds (three grass cultivars, sown at 100 kg/ha). Vegetation was recorded annually within a 5-m2 quadrat in each plot in 2005–2010.

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

  2. Increase number of species in seed mix

    A replicated, controlled study in 2004–2010 at a former mining site in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany (Kirmer et al. 2012) found that increasing the number of species in a seed mix, along with sowing seeds from a local source, led to an increase in the species richness and cover of target plants. After six years, plots sown with a high diversity local seed mix had on average a greater number and cover of target plant species (28 species, 83% cover) than plots sown with a low diversity non-local seed mix (12 species, 36% cover). In December 2004, three blocks were established on an unvegetated area (240 x 50 m) of boulder clay mixed with sand. In each block, one plot was sown with a high diversity mix of seeds from a local source (11 grass and 40 herb species, sown at 36 kg/ha), and one plot was sown with a low diversity mix of non-local seeds (three grass cultivars, sown at 100 kg/ha). Vegetation was monitored annually within a 5-m2 quadrat in each plot in 2005–2010.

     

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

  3. Add mulch before or after seeding/planting

    A replicated, controlled study in 2004–2005 at a former mining site in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany (Kirmer et al. 2012) found that adding mulch before sowing seeds increased the cover of target plant species but did not alter target plant species richness compared to sowing without mulch. After one year, plots that were mulched and seeded had on average a greater cover of target plant species (67–70%) than plots that were unmulched and seeded (25–33%). However, the average number of target plant species was similar between mulched (7–23 species) and unmulched plots (6–22 species). In December 2004, three blocks were established on an unvegetated area (240 x 50 m) of boulder clay mixed with sand. In each block, two plots had a layer of mulch added (3–5 cm thick), and two plots were left unmulched. Mulch was obtained from a second cut of species-poor grassland. One of each of the two mulched and unmulched plots/block was sown with a high diversity mix of local seeds, and the other with a low diversity mix of non-local seeds. Vegetation was monitored within a 5-m2 quadrat in each plot in 2005.

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

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