Restoration of inland brackish vegetation by large-scale transfer of coastal driftline material

Mineke Wolters, Saskia de Vries, Wim A. Ozinga, Jan P. Bakker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Question: Does large-scale transfer of coastal driftline material enhance the establishment of inland brackish vegetation?. Location: The Klutenplas of 11 ha, a formerly reclaimed agricultural field, north coast of the Netherlands. Methods: A large quantity of coastal driftline material of local origin was transferred to the restoration site in 2006 after top soil removal in 2005 leaving bare areas for control plots. A priori species composition of the driftline was analysed in a greenhouse germination study. Target species were assigned to saline and brackish ecological species groups and present and historic regional occurrences. Our procedure for selecting target species resulted in a list of 98 species characteristic of terrestrial salt and brackish ecological species groups. The establishment of plant species in the field was recorded annually from 2006 to 2009, with a final survey in 2012. A comparison between locations with and without driftline was made. The entire study site was grazed with sheep. Results: Driftline material contained 39 species, including 26 target species. During the first 4 yr, the mean number of target species in the established vegetation of driftline plots was significantly higher than in control plots. When corrected for spontaneous occurrence by natural colonization in control plots, 44% of the target species in the established vegetation of driftline plots during the first 4 yr could be attributed to the transferred material. After 7 yr driftline and control plots converged to similar levels, probably as a result of dispersal by wind and animals. Conclusions: Transfer of coastal driftline material enhanced the rate of establishment of inland brackish vegetation for at least the first 4 yr.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-650
JournalApplied Vegetation Science
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2017

Keywords

  • brackish habitat
  • dispersal
  • driftline
  • grazing
  • saline habitat
  • salinity
  • sheep
  • target species
  • top soil removal
  • transfer rate

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