Ecological restoration of semi-natural grassland in Europe

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Ecological restoration of semi-natural grassland in Europe

  1. 1. ECOLOGICAL RESTORATION OF SEMI- NATURAL GRASSLAND IN EUROPE Status quo and future prospects Rudy van Diggelen
  2. 3. GRASSLAND GOODS AND SERVICES <ul><li>Production of live-stock (milk, meat, wool, leather) </li></ul><ul><li>Biodiversity (e.g. calcareous grasslands) </li></ul><ul><li>Carbon storage (35% of global stock vs. 39% in woodlands) </li></ul><ul><li>Soil protection </li></ul><ul><li>Tourism and recreation </li></ul>
  3. 4. STATUS QUO
  4. 5. THIS IS WHAT PEOPLE HAVE IN MIND…
  5. 6. THIS IS WHAT THEY SEE…
  6. 7. OR THIS…
  7. 8. MAJOR THREATS <ul><li>Abandonment </li></ul><ul><li>Intensification </li></ul><ul><li>Changing land use (building, afforestation, converting to arable fields) </li></ul>
  8. 9. AREA OF SEMINATURAL GRASSLANDS & ABANDONED SEMINATURAL GRASSLANDS IN CEE
  9. 10. MAJOR THREATS <ul><li>Abandonment </li></ul><ul><li>Intensification </li></ul><ul><li>Changing land use (building, afforestation, converting to arable fields) </li></ul>
  10. 11. NUTRIENT APPLICATION IN NL
  11. 12. QUALITY OF LOW-PRODUCTIVE GRASSLAND IN THE NETHERLANDS Van Hinsberg et al. 2007
  12. 13. RESTORATION
  13. 14. RESTORING PREVIOUS MANAGEMENT: GRAZING BY LARGE HERBIVORES
  14. 15. RESTORING PREVIOUS MANAGEMENT: MOWING WITH NORMAL EQUIPMENT
  15. 16. 1 year
  16. 17. 5 years
  17. 18. 12 years
  18. 19. CHANGES IN PRODUCTIVITY Olff & Bakker 1991
  19. 20. SPECIES RICHNESS
  20. 21. Bakker & Olff, 1995 Unfortunately it is a slow process
  21. 22. SPEED UP DEVELOPMENT BY TOP SOIL REMOVAL?
  22. 23. Top soil removal
  23. 24. A = BEFORE TOP SOIL REMOVAL; B = SHALLOW REMOVAL; C = DEEPER REMOVAL Abiotic conditions Example Eexterveld
  24. 25. EFFECT OF NITROGEN AVAILABILITY ON PRODUCTIVITY
  25. 26. TOTAL NITROGEN CONTENT
  26. 27. Verhagen et al. 2003 Nitrogen dynamics
  27. 28. CHANGES IN SPECIES RICHNESS OVER TIME Olff & Bakker 1991
  28. 29. CHANGES IN SPECIES RICHNESS IN RELATION TO STARTING SITUATION Klimkowska et al. 2007
  29. 30. WAAR KOMEN DE SOORTEN VANDAAN? Do the species come from the soil seed bank?
  30. 31. Survival of ingested seeds Mouissie, van der Veen, Veen & van Diggelen 2005
  31. 32. Mouissie et al. 2005 Animal selectivity
  32. 33. PRELIMINARY CONCLUSIONS <ul><li>Species richness does increase over time under a regime of biomass removal </li></ul><ul><li>The increase rate decreases with time since abandonment/intensification </li></ul><ul><li>The increase rate decreases with increasing species richness </li></ul><ul><li>This implies that it takes a long time to restore species-rich grasslands this way </li></ul>
  33. 34. SPEED UP COLONISATION RATE THROUGH ADDITION OF PROPAGULES? Unpublished data van Diggelen , van den Burg & Dijkstra
  34. 35. Do we reach the target? 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 Droge heide .04 .08 .16 .19 .21 Natte heide .04 .01 .02 .03 .02 Dotterbloemhooiland . .26 .34 .34 .35 Noordse zegge hooiland . .10 .17 .18 .16 Overstromings-dotterbloemhooiland .33 .26 .23 .19 .25 Heischraal grasland . .01 .09 .11 .11 Kleine zeggen .08 .11 .16 .16 .21 Overstromingsgrasland . .24 .28 .28 .29 Kamgrasweide .35 .31 .32 .29 .29 Kievitsbloemhooiland .16 .14 .15 .10 .13 Gemiddeld .25 .21 .24 .23 .24
  35. 36. DO WE REACH THE TARGET?
  36. 37. LARGE SCALE SEEDING
  37. 38. COMPARISON BETWEEN TECHNIQUES W: Rewetting R: Top soil removal T: Transfer of propagules Klimkowska et al. 2007
  38. 39. CONCLUSIONS <ul><li>There are differences in effects between several restoration techniques </li></ul><ul><li>Topsoil removal and addition of propagules are slightly more effective than just manipulation of abiotic conditions </li></ul><ul><li>Especially the combination of these techniques appeared most effective </li></ul><ul><li>In this way restoration can be reasonably fast </li></ul>

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