A field assessment of the success of moorland restoration in the rehabilitation of whole plant assemblages.

Nick Littlewood, R. J. Pakeman, P. Dennis, Sarah Jane Woodin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Question: How successful is restoration that is focused on a single dominant plant at enabling the reassembly of the whole vegetation assemblage and what factors affect the relative success of such restoration?

Location: Moorlands in England and Scotland, UK.

Methods: Vegetation composition was sampled in grass-dominated (degraded), restored and long established Calluna vulgaris-dominated (target) areas within eight moorland restoration sites. Additional soil and biogeographic data were collected. Data were analysed by Canonical Correspondence Analysis, which allowed the impact of moorland management to be examined.

Results: All sites showed good restoration success when the dominant managed species (Calluna vulgaris, Molinia caerulea and Nardus stricta) were considered. Restoration success of the remainder of the plant assemblage, disregarding these dominant species, was lower with restored samples at some sites differing little from their respective degraded samples. Moors restored solely by grazing exclusion were more similar to their respective targets than were those restored by more intensive mechanical means. The most important factors in explaining vegetation assemblages were management status (i.e. whether samples represented degraded, restored or target parts of the moor) and latitude.

Conclusions: The project demonstrates that, where possible, restoration should be attempted by grazing exclusion alone. Furthermore the importance of applying local restoration targets and of monitoring the whole plant assemblages when assessing the success of moorland restoration is highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-306
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Vegetation Science
Volume9
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Keywords

  • biodiversity
  • Calluna vulgaris
  • canonical correspondence analysis
  • conservation management
  • Molinia caerulea
  • Nardus stricta
  • upland heathland
  • VULGARIS L. HULL
  • SOIL CHEMICAL-PROPERTIES
  • CALLUNA-VULGARIS
  • MOLINIA-CAERULEA
  • UPLAND VEGETATION
  • HEATHER MOORLAND
  • SOUTHERN ENGLAND
  • GREAT-BRITAIN
  • PEAK DISTRICT
  • WET HEATH

Cite this

A field assessment of the success of moorland restoration in the rehabilitation of whole plant assemblages. / Littlewood, Nick; Pakeman, R. J.; Dennis, P.; Woodin, Sarah Jane.

In: Applied Vegetation Science, Vol. 9, 2006, p. 295-306.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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