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Long-term effectiveness of sowing high and low diversity seed mixtures to enhance plant community development on ex-arable fields

Lepš, J. and Doležal, J. and Bezemer, T.M. and Brown, V.K. and Hedlund, K. and Igual Arroyo, M. and Jørgensen, H.B. and Lawson, C.S. and Mortimer, S.R. and Peix Geldart, A. and Rodríguez Barrueco, C. and Regina Santa, I. and Smilauer, P. and Van der Putten, W.H. (2007) Long-term effectiveness of sowing high and low diversity seed mixtures to enhance plant community development on ex-arable fields. Applied Vegetation Science, 10, 97-110. ISSN 1402-2001.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1658/1402-2001(2007)10[97:LEOSHA]2.0.CO;2

Abstract

Questions: How is succession on ex-arable land affected by sowing high and low diversity mixtures of grassland species as compared to natural succession? How long do effects persist? Location: Experimental plots installed in the Czech Republic, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Methods: The experiment was established on ex-arable land, with five blocks, each containing three 10 m × 10 m experimental plots: natural colonization, a low- (four species) and high-diversity (15 species) seed mixture. Species composition and biomass was followed for eight years. Results: The sown plants considerably affected the whole successional pathway and the effects persisted during the whole eight year period. Whilst the proportion of sown species (characterized by their cover) increased during the study period, the number of sown species started to decrease from the third season onwards. Sowing caused suppression of natural colonizing species, and the sown plots had more biomass. These effects were on average larger in the high diversity mixtures. However, the lo Conclusions: The effect of sowing demonstrated dispersal limitation as a factor controlling the rate of early secondary succession. Diversity was important primarily for its ‘insurance effect’: the high diversity mixtures were always able to compensate for the failure of some species. Abbreviations; ED = Euclidian distance; HD = High diversity; LD = Low diversity; NC = Natural colonization

Item Type:Article
Institutes:Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie (NIOO)
ID Code:4547
Deposited On:16 Sep 2009 02:00
Last Modified:31 Mar 2014 10:21

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