Study

Contrasting effects of land use legacies on grassland restoration in burnt pine plantations

  • Published source details Szitár K., Ónodi G., Somay L., Pándi I., Kucs P. & Kröel-Dulay G. (2016) Contrasting effects of land use legacies on grassland restoration in burnt pine plantations. Biological Conservation, 201, 356-362.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Remove leaf litter before seeding/planting

Action Link
Grassland Conservation

Sow grass seeds

Action Link
Grassland Conservation
  1. Remove leaf litter before seeding/planting

    A replicated, randomized, paired, controlled study in 2008–2014 in a pine plantation burnt by wildfire in Hungary (Szitár et al. 2016) found that removing litter before sowing native grass seeds did not increase the number of seedlings or cover of either of two sown grass species compared to sowing alone. After one year, the average number and cover of Festuca vaginata seedlings was lower in sown plots where litter was removed (96 seedlings/m2, 8%) than in sown plots where litter was not removed (125 seedlings/m2, 19%). For Stipa borysthenica, after one year, the average number and cover of seedlings did not differ significantly between sown plots with litter removed (45 seedlings/m2, 2%) and litter not removed (38 seedlings/m2, 2%). In autumn 2008, two 1 x 1 m plots were established in each of twenty 3 x 3 m blocks. In one plot/block, litter was removed with a rake and seeds of two grass species Festuca vaginata and Stipa borysthenica were sown, while in the other plot, litter was not removed before seeds were sown. Cover of all plants was estimated in each plot yearly in June between 2008 and 2014.

    (Summarised by: Philip Martin)

  2. Sow grass seeds

    A replicated, randomized, paired, controlled study in 2008–2014 in a pine plantation burnt in a wildfire in Hungary (Szitár et al. 2016) found that sowing with grass seeds reduced plant species richness and cover of specialist grassland species, but the plant communities of both seeded and unseeded areas became more similar to that of intact grasslands over time. After six years, plant species richness of areas where grass seeds were sown was lower (3.4 species/m2) than that in areas where no seeds were sown (7.0 species/m2). Cover of grassland species showed a similar pattern (seeded: 5%, unseeded: 16%). Over six years, the plant community both in areas where seeds were sown and areas where seeds were not sown became more similar to that of intact grasslands (data presented as graphical analysis). These results are not based on tests of statistical significance. In autumn 2008, seeds of two grass species Festuca vaginata and Stipa borysthenica were sown, at a rate of 1500 seeds/m2 and 100 seeds/m2 respectively, in twenty 1 x 1 m plots, while in 20 plots no seeds were sown. Cover of all plants was estimated yearly in June between 2008 and 2014. In June 2014, ten intact grassland areas that had also been burnt were surveyed.

    (Summarised by: Philip Martin)

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