Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 407406
Title Prospects for fen meadow restoration on severely degraded fens
Author(s) Klimkowska, A.; Diggelen, R.; Grootjans, A.P.; Kotowski, W.
Source Perspectives in plant ecology, evolution and systematics 12 (2010)3. - ISSN 1433-8319 - p. 245 - 255.
Department(s) CL - Ecological Models and Monitoring
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2010
Keyword(s) diffuse phosphorus pollution - agri-environment schemes - plant-species diversity - adhesive seed-dispersal - former arable fields - ecological restoration - land-use - productivity gradient - microsite limitation - wetland restoration
Abstract The majority of fens in Europe have been transformed for agricultural purposes and have disappeared or become degraded. Fen meadows that developed under low-intensity management of fens also have become degraded. In this paper, we consider the available restoration methods, biotic constraints for restoration and new prospects and approaches for the reStoration of severely degraded fens. Due to irreversible changes in landscape settings, hydrology, soil and trophic conditions, a full restoration to natural mires is unlikely. Yet, an improvement of the ecosystem functions and revival of biodiversity in degraded fens is possible. A restoration of semi-natural meadows is one of the alternative targets. Important for restoration efforts to succeed are a sufficient reduction of nutrient levels and preventing acidification. In general, a combination of topsoil removal and seed transfer is an effective measure for fen meadow restoration, provided that groundwater seepage can be re-established. There are also several biotic limitations to fen meadow restoration, due to limited propagule availability of target species and the legacy of the former vegetation in form of its soil seed bank and high seed production by unwanted species. Under the present environmental conditions, the re-development of fen meadows on degraded fens will result in species compositions different from those observed in the past and such restoration may require considerable time and effort.
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