Study

Enriching plant diversity in grasslands by large-scale experimental sward disturbance and seed addition along gradients of land-use intensity

  • Published source details Klaus V.H., Schäfer C., Kleinebecker T., Fischer M., Prati D. & Hölzel N. (2016) Enriching plant diversity in grasslands by large-scale experimental sward disturbance and seed addition along gradients of land-use intensity. Journal of Plant Ecology, 10, 581-591.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Disturb soil before seeding/planting

Action Link
Grassland Conservation

Sow native grass and forbs

Action Link
Grassland Conservation
  1. Disturb soil before seeding/planting

    A replicated, controlled study in 2014–2015 in 73 agricultural grasslands in Brandenburg, Thuringia and Baden-Württemberg, Germany (Klaus et al. 2016) found that disturbing soil before sowing seeds led to an increase in plant and seedling species richness and number of seedlings compared to sowing alone. After 7–19 months, plots that were disturbed before seeds were sown had on average a greater species richness of plants (36 species/quadrat) and seedlings (14 species/quadrat) than plots that were not disturbed before seeds were sown (27 plant species/quadrat; 5 seedling species/quadrat). Disturbed and sown plots also had more seedlings/quadrat (average 251 seedlings) than undisturbed and sown plots (average 94 seedlings). Two 7 x 7 m plots were established in each of 73 grasslands. The soil was disturbed in one plot (using rotovation tilling or a rotary harrow in October 2014) before seeds were sown, the other was left undisturbed. A mix of native grass, legume and herb seeds (47–66 region-specific species) combined with sand and crushed soybean was sown in each plot in November 2014 and March 2015. Vegetation was monitored within a 2 x 2 m quadrat in each of the 146 plots on three occasions in May–June 2015.

     

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

  2. Sow native grass and forbs

    A replicated, controlled study in 2014–2015 in 73 agricultural grasslands in Brandenburg, Thuringia and Baden-Württemberg, Germany (Klaus et al. 2016) found that sowing native grass and forb seeds increased seedling species richness but did not alter the number of seedlings. After 7–19 months, plots that were sown with grass seeds had on average more plant seedling species overall (5 species/quadrat) and more grassland seedling species (data not reported) than plots that were not sown with seeds (all plant species: 4 species/quadrat; grassland species: data not reported). The average number of plant seedlings/quadrat did not differ significantly between sown (94 seedlings) and unsown plots (67 seedlings). Two 7 x 7 m plots were established in each of 73 grasslands. One plot was sown with a mix of native grass, legume and herb seeds (47–66 region-specific species), the other was left unsown. Seeds were mixed with sand and crushed soybean, which was also added to the unsown plots. Sowing was carried out in November 2014 and March 2015. Vegetation was monitored within a 2 x 2 m quadrat in each of the 146 plots on three occasions in May–June 2015.

     

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

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