Comparison of plant regeneration after burning, cutting or ploughing of gum cistus Cistus ladanifer-dominated shrubland in Castilla y Leon province, northwest Spain
This study is summarised as evidence for the following.
Allow shrubland to regenerate without active managementAction Link
Allow shrubland to regenerate without active management
A before-and-after study in 1989-1994 in rockrose shrublands in northern Spain (Tarrega et al. 1995) found that allowing shrubland to recover after severe disturbance without any active restoration increased the cover of woody plants, reduced the number of species and cover of herbaceous plants, but did not increase the number of woody plant species after five years. In three of three cases, after five years, cover of woody plants in plots was higher (50-64% cover) than the in same plots immediately after they were disturbed (1-25% cover), but was lower than the same plots before they were disturbed (79-91% cover). In three of three cases the number and cover of herbaceous species after five years was lower (species: 2-7; cover: 2-12%) than that immediately after disturbance (species: 6-16; cover: 17-61%), but cover after five years was higher than herbaceous cover prior to disturbance (0-3% cover). However, in three of three cases the number of woody species did not differ significantly after five years (2-3 species) and the same areas immediately after disturbance (1-3 species). Three 100 m2 plots were established in the shrublands in 1989 and were either burnt, ploughed, or cut. Each year in 1989-1994 five 1 m2 quadrats were placed in each plot and vegetation estimated visually.