Reference : Rapid restoration of a species-rich ecosystem assessed from soil and vegetation indicato...
Scientific journals : Article
Life sciences : Environmental sciences & ecology
http://hdl.handle.net/2268/64094
Rapid restoration of a species-rich ecosystem assessed from soil and vegetation indicators: the case of calcareous grasslands restored from forest stands
English
Piqueray, Julien mailto [Université de Liège - ULg > Forêts, Nature et Paysage > Biodiversité et Paysage >]
Bottin, Gaëtan [> >]
Delescaille, Louis-Marie [> >]
Bisteau, Emmanuelle [> >]
Colinet, Gilles mailto [Université de Liège - ULg > Sciences et technologie de l'environnement > Science du sol >]
Mahy, Grégory mailto [Université de Liège - ULg > Forêts, Nature et Paysage > Biodiversité et Paysage >]
2011
Ecological Indicators
Elsevier Science
11
724-733
Yes (verified by ORBi)
International
1470-160X
Amsterdam
The Netherlands
[en] Calcareous grasslands ; Restoration monitoring ; Soil conditions ; Species composition
[en] Calcareous grasslands have long been recognized as biodiversity hotspots in Europe. However, in recent decades these ecosystems have seen rapid decline. In Belgium, more than 100 ha of calcareous grasslands have been restored from oak coppices and pine forests since the 1990s. The aim of the present study was to provide a quantitative assessment of the success of these restoration efforts, using two sets of indicators: one related to soil conditions, the other related to vascular plant communities. Soil conditions were evaluated by comparing soil samples from pre-restoration forest stands, restored grasslands (3 age classes: 2-4 years; 5-8 years, 10-15 years) and reference grasslands. The analysis revealed no significant differences in soil N, P and K contents between pre-restoration forests and restored and reference grasslands. We observed a decrease in the mineralization rate indicators in both pre-restoration forests and recent grassland restorations, which was resorbed in older restorations. Floristic surveys revealed that plant species composition of older restorations was most like reference grasslands. However, some differences in species composition persisted after 15 years. Moreover, a few rare species did not colonise restored grasslands despite a close seed source. Non-recolonization by a set of species expected on calcareous grasslands may be due to dispersal limitation and higher cover by native invasive grasses in restored parcels. These results were discussed in term of implications for management.
http://hdl.handle.net/2268/64094

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