Besides plants, soil organisms provide added value as indicators for conservation and restoration success

P. Kardol, T.M. Bezemer, A. van der Wal, W.H. van der Putten

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstract

Abstract

Conversion of arable land into semi-natural grassland or heath land is a major practice for restoring and conserving plant diversity, but little is known about the restoration of taxonomic and functional diversity in the soil. In a chronosequence of abandoned fields we determined how plant and soil communities develop along a secondary succession gradient. Plant community development proceeded according to a clear succession towards the theoretical plant associations Galio hercynici-Festucetum ovinae and Genisto anglicae-callunetum. However, succession of the nematode community was less well predictable. For nematodes, theoretical references are far less well developed than for plants, but similarity with a theoretical community indicative of arable land significantly declined with time since abandonment. Moreover, regarding similarity to natural reference sites, our results show that plant and soil nematode communities have individual trajectories of secondary succession after land abandonment. Therefore we argue that besides plants soil organisms provide added value as indicators for conservation and restoration success
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationXVII International Botanical Congress, Vienna, Austria, 17-23 July 2005
Place of PublicationVienna, Austria
Pages109
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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