Study

Controls of vegetation structure and net primary production in restored grasslands

  • Published source details Munson S. & Lauenroth W.K. (2014) Controls of vegetation structure and net primary production in restored grasslands. Journal of Applied Ecology, 51, 988-996.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Sow grassland seeds from a local source

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

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2005–2007 in 15 former arable fields in Colorado, USA (Munson & Lauenroth 2014) found that sowing grass and forb seeds from a local source had no effect on vegetation height and mixed effects on vegetation cover and plant density compared to sowing non-native grass seeds. In areas where local grass and forb seeds were sown 18–20 years previously, plant cover was higher (20–24%) than in areas sown with non-native grass seeds (12–19%) but there was no significant difference for areas where local seeds had been sown 2–9 years ago (8–12%). There was no significant difference in plant height between areas where local seeds were sown (14–17 cm) and areas where non-native seeds were sown (15–31 cm). Plant density was higher in areas where local seeds were sown 2–9 years ago than in areas where non-native seeds were sown (18–61 plants/m2 vs 17–43 plants/m2), but plant density in areas where local seeds were sown 18–20 years ago (18–34 plants/m2) did not significantly differ from areas where non-native seeds were sown. Each field was sown with either a mix of perennial grass and forb seeds of species native to northern Colorado (nine fields), or with seeds of the non-native grasses, wheatgrass Agropyron intermedium (three fields) or smooth brome Bromus inermis (three fields). In August–September 2005–2007, forty 0.25-m2 circular plots were placed in each field and plant height, density and cover were estimated.

    (Summarised by: Philip Martin)

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