Restoration of species-rich flood-plain meadows from abandoned arable fields in NE France

  • Published source details Vécrin M.P., Van Diggelen R., Grévilliot F. & Muller S. (2002) Restoration of species-rich flood-plain meadows from abandoned arable fields in NE France. Applied Vegetation Science, 5, 263-270.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Sow native grass and forbs

Action Link
Grassland Conservation
  1. Sow native grass and forbs

    A before-and-after, site comparison study in 1998–2001 in a former arable field and a semi-natural grassland in northern France (Vécrin et al. 2002) found that sowing grass and forb seeds did not increase plant species richness, and species richness was lower than in areas in a nearby natural grassland. After three years, the plant species richness of areas where seeds were sown did not differ significantly from that of the same areas before sowing (after: 29 species/plot, before: 26 species/plot). Plant species richness after three years was also lower in areas where seeds were sown (29 species/plot) than in nearby semi-natural grasslands (34 species/plot). Before restoration, the field had been abandoned for five years and had been recolonised by some grassland species. In 1998, the field was mowed and ploughed and in autumn was sown with a commercial seed mix containing Phleum pratense, Lolium perenne, Festuca pratensis and Trifolium repens at a rate of 30–35 kg/ha. Before sowing, nine 4-m2 plots were established and vegetation was surveyed. In 1999–2001, twenty-one plots in the field were surveyed along with 30 plots in nearby semi-natural grasslands.

    (Summarised by: Philip Martin)

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