Grassland habitat restoration: lessons learnt from long term monitoring of Swanworth Quarry, UK, 1997-2014

Authors: Smith, B.M., Diaz, A. and Winder, L.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/30051/

Journal: PeerJ

Volume: 5

Issue: 5

Publisher: PeerJ Inc.

ISSN: 2167-8359

DOI: 10.7717/peerj.3942

Habitat restoration projects are often conducted when prior use or extraction of natural resources results in land degradation. The success of restoration programmes, however, is variable, and studies that provide evidence of long term outcomes are valuable for evaluation purposes. This study focused on the restoration of vegetation within a limestone quarry in Dorset, UK between 1997 and 2014. Using a randomised block design, the effect of seed mix and seed rate on the development of community assemblage was investigated in comparison to a nearby target calcareous grassland site. We hypothesised that seed mix composition and sowing rate would influence both the trajectory of the grassland assemblage and final community composition.

We found that species composition (in relation to both richness and community assemblage) was strongly influenced by time and to some extent by seed rate and seed mix. However, no treatments achieved strong resemblance to the calcareous grassland target vegetation; rather they resembled mesotrophic communities. We conclude that (as with previous studies) there is no ‘‘quick fix’’ for the establishment of a grassland community; long-term monitoring provides useful information on the trajectory of community development; sowing gets you something (in our case mesotrophic grassland), but, it may not be the target vegetation (e.g., calcicolous grassland) you want that is difficult to establish and regenerate; it is important to sow a diverse mix as subsequent recruitment opportunities are probably limited; post-establishment management should be explored further and carefully considered as part of a restoration project.

This data was imported from PubMed:

Authors: Smith, B.M., Diaz, A. and Winder, L.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/30051/

Journal: PeerJ

Volume: 5

Pages: e3942

ISSN: 2167-8359

DOI: 10.7717/peerj.3942

Habitat restoration projects are often conducted when prior use or extraction of natural resources results in land degradation. The success of restoration programmes, however, is variable, and studies that provide evidence of long term outcomes are valuable for evaluation purposes. This study focused on the restoration of vegetation within a limestone quarry in Dorset, UK between 1997 and 2014. Using a randomised block design, the effect of seed mix and seed rate on the development of community assemblage was investigated in comparison to a nearby target calcareous grassland site. We hypothesised that seed mix composition and sowing rate would influence both the trajectory of the grassland assemblage and final community composition. We found that species composition (in relation to both richness and community assemblage) was strongly influenced by time and to some extent by seed rate and seed mix. However, no treatments achieved strong resemblance to the calcareous grassland target vegetation; rather they resembled mesotrophic communities. We conclude that (as with previous studies) there is no "quick fix" for the establishment of a grassland community; long-term monitoring provides useful information on the trajectory of community development; sowing gets you something (in our case mesotrophic grassland), but, it may not be the target vegetation (e.g., calcicolous grassland) you want that is difficult to establish and regenerate; it is important to sow a diverse mix as subsequent recruitment opportunities are probably limited; post-establishment management should be explored further and carefully considered as part of a restoration project.

This data was imported from Scopus:

Authors: Smith, B.M., Diaz, A. and Winder, L.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/30051/

Journal: PeerJ

Volume: 2017

Issue: 11

eISSN: 2167-8359

DOI: 10.7717/peerj.3942

© 2017 Smith et al. Habitat restoration projects are often conducted when prior use or extraction of natural resources results in land degradation. The success of restoration programmes, however, is variable, and studies that provide evidence of long term outcomes are valuable for evaluation purposes. This study focused on the restoration of vegetation within a limestone quarry in Dorset, UK between 1997 and 2014. Using a randomised block design, the effect of seed mix and seed rate on the development of community assemblage was investigated in comparison to a nearby target calcareous grassland site. We hypothesised that seed mix composition and sowing rate would influence both the trajectory of the grassland assemblage and final community composition. We found that species composition (in relation to both richness and community assemblage) was strongly influenced by time and to some extent by seed rate and seed mix. However, no treatments achieved strong resemblance to the calcareous grassland target ve getation; rather they resembled mesotrophic communities. We conclude that (as with previous studies) there is no "quick fix" for the establishment of a grassland community; long-term monitoring provides useful information on the trajectory of community development; sowing gets you something (in our case mesotrophic grassland), but, it may not be the target vegetation (e.g., calcicolous grassland) you want that is difficult to establish and regenerate; it is important to sow a diverse mix as subsequent recruitment opportunities are probably limited; post-establishment management should be explored further and carefully considered as part of a restoration project.

This source preferred by Anita Diaz

This data was imported from Web of Science (Lite):

Authors: Smith, B.M., Diaz, A. and Winder, L.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/30051/

Journal: PEERJ

Volume: 5

ISSN: 2167-8359

DOI: 10.7717/peerj.3942

The data on this page was last updated at 04:51 on April 23, 2018.