Revegetation of motorway slopes using different seed mixtures

  • Published source details Zelnik I., Šilc U., Čarni A. & Košir P. (2010) Revegetation of motorway slopes using different seed mixtures. Restoration Ecology, 18, 449-456.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Sow or plant nurse plants (alongside seeding/planting of grassland species)

Action Link
Grassland Conservation
  1. Sow or plant nurse plants (alongside seeding/planting of grassland species)

    A replicated, controlled study in 1998–2003 on a newly-created motorway verge in southwestern Slovenia (Zelnik et al. 2010) found that plots sown with a seed mix containing nurse species contained a similar number of species, but the species composition was less similar to the target community compared to plots sown without nurse species. Three to five years after sowing, plots sown with seed mix with nurse species contained 18–22 species, compared to 24–30 species in plots without nurse species. The composition of plant species in plots sown with nurse species was less similar to the target dry grassland community (19–21%) than plots without nurse species (35–45%) (differences not subject to statistical tests). Vegetation cover was also lower in plots with nurse species than those without nurse species in one out of three years (69% vs 88%).  Fifteen 3 x 3 m plots were established on new verges with a slope of approximately 30° constructed of topsoil. In June 1998, ten plots were sown with a mix of six competitive, stress-tolerant species. Five plots were sown with a mix of 12 species which contained ‘nurse’ grasses (Lolium species) and legumes (Trifolium species) in addition to the stress-tolerant species. Seeds were mixed with organic fertilizers, hay mulch, humic acids and water before seeding (hydroseeded). Plant species and cover were recorded in every plot each June. The target community was dry grassland adjacent to the new motorway.

    (Summarised by: Philip Martin)

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