The impact of seeding method on diversity and plant distribution in two restored grasslands

  • Published source details Yurkonis K.A., Wilsey B.J., Moloney K.A. & van der Valk A.G. (2010) The impact of seeding method on diversity and plant distribution in two restored grasslands. Restoration Ecology, 18, 311-321.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Drill seed rather than seeding by hand

Action Link
Grassland Conservation
  1. Drill seed rather than seeding by hand

    A replicated, paired, controlled study in 1999–2007 in two former arable fields in Iowa, USA (Yurkonis et al. 2010) found that drill seeding resulted in similar plant species richness to broadcast seeding at both sites, but drill seeded areas had fewer native warm-season grass and more non-native species at one of two sites. At both sites, species richness was similar in drilled (10–15 species) and broadcast-seeded areas (10–18 species). However, at one site, drill-seeded areas had a lower relative cover of native warm-season grasses (16%) and a higher relative cover of non-native species (72%) than broadcast-seeded areas (native warm-season grasses: 54%, non-native species: 35%), while at the other site there was no significant difference (native warm-season grasses: 87% vs 89%; non-native species: 9% vs 7%). At two sites, one area was drill-seeded and another was broadcast-seeded, using the same seed mix in both areas. At Site 1, one 1.9-ha area was drilled, and one 3.5-ha area was broadcast, with a local seed mix of 20 native species (sown at 16–17 kg/ha) in autumn 1999. The site was burned in spring 2004–2006. At Site 2, one 1-ha area was drilled, and one 1-ha area was broadcast, with a seed mix containing 37 forbs and nine grasses (sown at 12 kg/ha) in spring 2003. The site was mowed twice yearly. Plant species and cover were recorded in 10 random 1-m2 quadrats in each area in June 2007.

    (Summarised by: Philip Martin)

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