Long Term Positive Effect of Grassland Restoration on Plant Diversity - Success or Not?
Number of Authors: 2
2016 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 11, no 5, e0155836Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Restoration is important for biodiversity conservation worldwide, but surprisingly little is known about its efficiency in a long-term perspective. In this study, we re-examined Swedish semi-natural grasslands 12-20 years after the restoration, by comparing field inventories of vascular plant species diversity made in 2001 with follow-up inventories in 2012. We also analysed restoration effect in relation to six environmental factors and used continuously managed semi-natural grasslands as references of desired state after restoration. We found that total species richness increased over time but not to reference levels, while there were no significant changes in species density or number of grassland specialists. However, the overall species composition in the restored sites, as well as grassland specialist composition, now largely resembled reference conditions. Fertilisation and time between abandonment and restoration were the only environmental variables that affected total species composition change, while site area affected change in grassland specialist composition. Our results show that restoration of semi-natural grasslands can contribute to conservation of semi-natural habitats and their associated biodiversity. Yet, due to the vague restoration goals for these sites, it is difficult to evaluate the restoration success, which emphasise the general need for clear and measurable goals.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 11, no 5, e0155836
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-131522DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0155836ISI: 000376291100111PubMedID: 27196748OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-131522DiVA: diva2:945920