Study

Long-term experimental restoration in a calcareous grassland: identifying the most effective restoration strategies

  • Published source details Maccherini S. & Santi E. (2012) Long-term experimental restoration in a calcareous grassland: identifying the most effective restoration strategies. Biological Conservation, 146, 123-135.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Graze with livestock after seeding/planting

Action Link
Grassland Conservation

Sow native grass and forbs

Action Link
Grassland Conservation
  1. Graze with livestock after seeding/planting

    A replicated, randomized, paired, controlled study in 2001–2010 in a calcareous grassland previously affected by shrubland encroachment in Tuscany, Italy (Maccherini & Santi 2012) found that grazing with livestock after sowing of locally sourced seeds increased plant species richness compared to sowing without grazing. Nine years after sowing and the start of grazing, plots that were seeded and grazed had on average higher plant species richness (39 species/plot) than plots that were seeded but not grazed (31 species/plot). In 1999, shrubs were removed from the entire site, and in spring 2001, blackthorn Prunus spinosa plants were cut. In October 2001, four 5 × 3 m plots were sown with locally collected seeds at a rate of 4 g/m2 and subsequently grazed by livestock. Four plots were sown with seeds and fenced to exclude livestock. In June/July 2001–2010, sixteen 2 x 1 m quadrats were placed in each plot and a point quadrat method used to estimate cover of each plant species.

     

    (Summarised by: Philip Martin)

  2. Sow native grass and forbs

    A replicated, randomized, controlled, paired, before-and-after study in 2001–2010 in a calcareous grassland previously affected by shrub encroachment in Tuscany, Italy (Maccherini & Santi 2012) found that sowing grass and forb seeds did not alter species richness. Nine years after sowing, there was no significant difference in species richness between areas where seeds were sown (31 species) and areas where no seeds were sown (31 species). In 1999, shrubs were removed from the entire grassland. In spring 2001, blackthorn Prunus spinosa plants across the site were cut. In October 2001, four 3 × 5 m plots were sown with locally collected grass and forb seeds at a rate of 4 g/m2 while four plots were not sown with seed. In June/July 2001–2010, sixteen 2 × 1 m quadrats were placed in each plot and a point quadrat used to estimate cover of each plant species.

    (Summarised by: Philip Martin)

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