Study

Does habitat restoration enhance spring biodiversity and ecosystem functions?

  • Published source details Lehosmaa K., Jyväsjärvi J., Virtanen R., Rossi P.M., Rados D., Chuzhekova T., Markkola A., Ilmonen J. & Muotka T. (2017) Does habitat restoration enhance spring biodiversity and ecosystem functions?. Hydrobiologia, 793, 161-173.

Summary

Action: Divert/block/stop freshwater inputs

A replicated, site comparison study in 2014 of 23 springs in central Finland (Lehosmaa et al. 2017) found that springs restored by blocking surface water inputs (and groundwater outputs) had greater bryophyte cover than degraded springs, and statistically similar bryophyte cover to natural springs, after 3–5 years. This was true for cover of bryophytes overall (restored: 60%; degraded: 33%; natural: 58%) and cover of spring-characteristic bryophytes (restored: 41%; degraded: 20%; natural: 52%). Methods: Vegetation was surveyed in 23 springs in 2014. Seven springs had been restored between 2009 and 2011, by blocking undesirable inputs of surface water from forestry ditches and damming output ditches to raise the water level. The study does not distinguish between the effects of these interventions. Seven springs remained degraded, with input and output ditches left open. The final nine springs were natural (no visible human impact within 30 m). In each spring, bryophyte cover was visually estimated in 5–7 quadrats (0.25 m2) along the main course of the flow and within 7 m of the spring origin.

 

Action: Raise water level to restore degraded aquatic habitats

A replicated, site comparison study in 2014 of 23 springs in central Finland (Lehosmaa et al. 2017) found that springs restored by blocking output ditches (and surface water inputs) had greater bryophyte cover than degraded springs, and statistically similar bryophyte cover to natural springs, after 3–5 years. This was true for cover of bryophytes overall (restored: 60%; degraded: 33%; natural: 58%) and cover of spring-characteristic bryophytes (restored: 41%; degraded: 20%; natural: 52%). Methods: Vegetation was surveyed in 23 springs in 2014. Seven springs had been restored between 2009 and 2011, by damming output ditches to raise the water level, and blocking undesirable inputs of surface water from forestry ditches. The study does not distinguish between the effects of these interventions. Seven springs remained degraded, with input and output ditches left open. The final nine springs were natural (no visible human impact within 30 m). In each spring, bryophyte cover was visually estimated in 5–7 quadrats (0.25 m2), along the main course of the flow and within 7 m of the spring origin.

Output references
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