Covering bare ground suppresses unwanted willows and aids a fen meadow restoration in Switzerland
This study is summarised as evidence for the following.
Introduce seeds of peatland herbsAction Link
Introduce seeds of peatland herbs
A replicated before-and-after study in 2004–2005 in two degraded fen meadows in Switzerland (Suter et al. 2006) reported that plots sown with fen plant seeds (some also ploughed or mulched) developed cover of fen-characteristic plants. Before sowing, plots were bare peat. After 2–10 months, cover of the sown fen plants was 10–45%. There were 50–160 individual plants/m2 (except in one site, where plots mulched with straw after sowing contained only 2 plants/m2). Vegetation cover and plant density did not significantly differ between plots sown in autumn and spring (see original paper). Forty-eight 2 x 2 m plots were established across two fen meadows (historically cultivated, but stripped of topsoil before the study began). Seeds were sown (10 different species; 200–800 seeds/species/plot) in October 2004 (8 plots), April 2005 (16 plots) or June 2005 (24 plots). Some random plots were ploughed before sowing or mulched afterwards. In August 2005, individual plants were counted and total vegetation cover estimated in the central 1.5 x 1.5 m of each plot.