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Artificial dispersal as a restoration tool in meadows: sowing or planting?
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Ecological Botany.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Ecological Botany.
2009 (English)In: Restoration Ecology, ISSN 1061-2971, E-ISSN 1526-100X, Vol. 17, no 2, 270-279 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Habitat fragmentation and the abandonment of former agricultural   practices have led to extremely low dispersal rates for plant species   growing in traditionally managed hay meadows in Sweden. Historically,   seed dispersal between populations was maintained by hay movement,   grazing animals, and farmers sharing their equipment. Because these   means of dispersal typically are no longer occurring, artificial   dispersal using seeds and plug-plants is tested here as a restoration   tool. In this study, we chose two perennial herbs commonly occurring in   meadows as test species, viz, Hypochoeris maculata L. (Asteraceae) and   Succisa pratensis Moench. (Dipsacaceae). We found that plug-plant   transplants were twice as effective as seed sowing for both species.   The seed collection site was found to be important for seed-based   establishment and survival; consequently, the choice of donor meadow is   important when acquiring seeds used for restoration. We also found that   survival of plants introduced as seeds was generally lower at sites   harboring species favored by nitrogen as well as at sites in later   successional phases. Both methods of introducing meadow species worked   well, even though long-term establishment may well be more successful   with the plug-plant method due to higher plug-plant establishment 2   years after introduction in the field.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 17, no 2, 270-279 p.
Keyword [en]
hay meadow, Hypochoeris maculata, plug-plant transplantation, population augmentation, seed sowing, Succisa pratensis
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-95587DOI: 10.1111/j.1526-100X.2007.00350.xISI: 000263911000012OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-95587DiVA: diva2:169869
Available from: 2007-03-26 Created: 2007-03-26 Last updated: 2013-11-15Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Plant Population Dynamics and Conservation in Wooded Hay-Meadows – Effects of Intensified Management
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Plant Population Dynamics and Conservation in Wooded Hay-Meadows – Effects of Intensified Management
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The decrease in number and area of managed hay-meadows over the last century, in combination with the reduction of traditional management, threatens the biodiversity connected to these habitats. I experimentally examined how management intensity affected meadow characteristics and long-term population viability of three vascular plant species in wooded hay-meadows on the Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea. I discovered that intensified management (extra raking and/or extra mowing) reduced the amount of litter and biomass, even in well-managed meadows.

The effects of intensified management on population growth rate varied among species. Deterministic demographic models revealed that intensified management increased population growth rate in Succisa pratensis. Stochastic modelling confirmed this; all meadows displayed larger projected population sizes 50 years into the future with intensified management. Polygala amarella responded with lower growth rates in raked plots, a consequence of the plant’s morphology, which makes it prone to being pulled out by raking. Hypochoeris maculata had population growth rates close to unity, and showed no response to an increase in management. Examination of the life-history characteristics of Polygala amarella showed that the species’ strategy is aimed at reproduction and fast growth, which is in contrast to the other two species, with their success relying on the survival of older plants. The species-specific responses to management show that several species should be considered when evaluating management practices for conservation of semi-natural grasslands. Furthermore, I suggest that data on stage distributions alone may not be sufficient for identifying threatened populations.

In a study of artificial dispersal between meadows, I found that establishment was twice as successful for planted plug-plants compared to sown seeds. Both methods may be useful for introducing or augmenting meadow populations, depending on access to seed sources and possibilities to nurse plants.

An electronic coordinate measurement device for gathering location data to be used in demographic studies was developed. In the field, the device proved to be a simple and reliable method for locating individuals in permanent plots.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2007. 35 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 282
Biology, coordinates, demographic model, dispersal, hay-meadow, Hypochoeris maculata, litter, management, Polygala amarella, stochastic modelling, Succisa pratensis, Biologi
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-7743 (URN)978-91-554-6829-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-04-16, the Lecture Hall, Växtekologen, Villavägen 14, Uppsala, 13:00
Available from: 2007-03-26 Created: 2007-03-26Bibliographically approved

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