Seeding alters plant community trajectory: Impacts of seeding, grazing and trampling on semi-arid re-vegetation

Hannah L. Farrell, Jeffrey Fehmi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Questions: How do seeding, cattle grazing, and vehicular use impact vegetation establishment and soil movement on a newly reclaimed pipeline right-of-way? Will these factors result in differing plant community trajectories? Location: Southern Arizona (USA). Methods: Within a pipeline disturbance, we randomly selected nine plots to be seeded with an 18 species mix and nine to be left unseeded. Adjacent to the disturbance, we selected nine undisturbed unseeded control plots for a total of 27 plots (30 m × 45 m each). Within each of the 27 plots, we established a grazed-trampled, grazed-untrampled and ungrazed-untrampled subplot. One year after pipeline reclamation, we analysed the impacts of seeding, grazing and trampling on native plant cover, undesirable plant cover, herbaceous biomass, species richness, soil movement and plant community trajectories in comparison to surrounding undisturbed sites. Results: Seeding disturbed sites with a diverse seed mix resulted in greater native plant cover, higher species richness and fewer undesirable species than were found in unseeded disturbed sites. Unseeded disturbed areas were similar to the undisturbed control areas in species richness and had comparable plant community trajectories. The combined impacts of grazing and trampling reduced native plant cover and herbaceous biomass and were associated with increased soil erosion in comparison to subplots protected from grazing and trampling. Conclusions: Natural vegetation recruitment can be a viable option in semi-arid reclamation projects when the soil seed bank is preserved and there are proximal seed sources. While seeding improved quantitative vegetation metrics, using a seed mix comprised of different species than the preexisting vegetation may set the reclaimed vegetation on a different plant community trajectory. The general prescription of protecting new reclamation sites from grazing and trampling is supported.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalApplied Vegetation Science
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

Fingerprint

trampling
revegetation
seeding
plant community
grazing
trajectory
vegetation
species richness
seed
disturbance
soil
biomass
seed bank
soil erosion
cattle

Keywords

  • Erosion
  • Invasive species
  • Land management
  • Priority effects
  • Reclamation
  • Restoration ecology
  • Seed sources
  • Southwestern US
  • Vegetation communities
  • Vegetation establishment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Cite this

@article{db95e19f5df44758b61ae83cf94a91ae,
title = "Seeding alters plant community trajectory: Impacts of seeding, grazing and trampling on semi-arid re-vegetation",
abstract = "Questions: How do seeding, cattle grazing, and vehicular use impact vegetation establishment and soil movement on a newly reclaimed pipeline right-of-way? Will these factors result in differing plant community trajectories? Location: Southern Arizona (USA). Methods: Within a pipeline disturbance, we randomly selected nine plots to be seeded with an 18 species mix and nine to be left unseeded. Adjacent to the disturbance, we selected nine undisturbed unseeded control plots for a total of 27 plots (30 m × 45 m each). Within each of the 27 plots, we established a grazed-trampled, grazed-untrampled and ungrazed-untrampled subplot. One year after pipeline reclamation, we analysed the impacts of seeding, grazing and trampling on native plant cover, undesirable plant cover, herbaceous biomass, species richness, soil movement and plant community trajectories in comparison to surrounding undisturbed sites. Results: Seeding disturbed sites with a diverse seed mix resulted in greater native plant cover, higher species richness and fewer undesirable species than were found in unseeded disturbed sites. Unseeded disturbed areas were similar to the undisturbed control areas in species richness and had comparable plant community trajectories. The combined impacts of grazing and trampling reduced native plant cover and herbaceous biomass and were associated with increased soil erosion in comparison to subplots protected from grazing and trampling. Conclusions: Natural vegetation recruitment can be a viable option in semi-arid reclamation projects when the soil seed bank is preserved and there are proximal seed sources. While seeding improved quantitative vegetation metrics, using a seed mix comprised of different species than the preexisting vegetation may set the reclaimed vegetation on a different plant community trajectory. The general prescription of protecting new reclamation sites from grazing and trampling is supported.",
keywords = "Erosion, Invasive species, Land management, Priority effects, Reclamation, Restoration ecology, Seed sources, Southwestern US, Vegetation communities, Vegetation establishment",
author = "Farrell, {Hannah L.} and Jeffrey Fehmi",
year = "2018",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/avsc.12340",
language = "English (US)",
journal = "Applied Vegetation Science",
issn = "1402-2001",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Seeding alters plant community trajectory

T2 - Impacts of seeding, grazing and trampling on semi-arid re-vegetation

AU - Farrell, Hannah L.

AU - Fehmi, Jeffrey

PY - 2018/1/1

Y1 - 2018/1/1

N2 - Questions: How do seeding, cattle grazing, and vehicular use impact vegetation establishment and soil movement on a newly reclaimed pipeline right-of-way? Will these factors result in differing plant community trajectories? Location: Southern Arizona (USA). Methods: Within a pipeline disturbance, we randomly selected nine plots to be seeded with an 18 species mix and nine to be left unseeded. Adjacent to the disturbance, we selected nine undisturbed unseeded control plots for a total of 27 plots (30 m × 45 m each). Within each of the 27 plots, we established a grazed-trampled, grazed-untrampled and ungrazed-untrampled subplot. One year after pipeline reclamation, we analysed the impacts of seeding, grazing and trampling on native plant cover, undesirable plant cover, herbaceous biomass, species richness, soil movement and plant community trajectories in comparison to surrounding undisturbed sites. Results: Seeding disturbed sites with a diverse seed mix resulted in greater native plant cover, higher species richness and fewer undesirable species than were found in unseeded disturbed sites. Unseeded disturbed areas were similar to the undisturbed control areas in species richness and had comparable plant community trajectories. The combined impacts of grazing and trampling reduced native plant cover and herbaceous biomass and were associated with increased soil erosion in comparison to subplots protected from grazing and trampling. Conclusions: Natural vegetation recruitment can be a viable option in semi-arid reclamation projects when the soil seed bank is preserved and there are proximal seed sources. While seeding improved quantitative vegetation metrics, using a seed mix comprised of different species than the preexisting vegetation may set the reclaimed vegetation on a different plant community trajectory. The general prescription of protecting new reclamation sites from grazing and trampling is supported.

AB - Questions: How do seeding, cattle grazing, and vehicular use impact vegetation establishment and soil movement on a newly reclaimed pipeline right-of-way? Will these factors result in differing plant community trajectories? Location: Southern Arizona (USA). Methods: Within a pipeline disturbance, we randomly selected nine plots to be seeded with an 18 species mix and nine to be left unseeded. Adjacent to the disturbance, we selected nine undisturbed unseeded control plots for a total of 27 plots (30 m × 45 m each). Within each of the 27 plots, we established a grazed-trampled, grazed-untrampled and ungrazed-untrampled subplot. One year after pipeline reclamation, we analysed the impacts of seeding, grazing and trampling on native plant cover, undesirable plant cover, herbaceous biomass, species richness, soil movement and plant community trajectories in comparison to surrounding undisturbed sites. Results: Seeding disturbed sites with a diverse seed mix resulted in greater native plant cover, higher species richness and fewer undesirable species than were found in unseeded disturbed sites. Unseeded disturbed areas were similar to the undisturbed control areas in species richness and had comparable plant community trajectories. The combined impacts of grazing and trampling reduced native plant cover and herbaceous biomass and were associated with increased soil erosion in comparison to subplots protected from grazing and trampling. Conclusions: Natural vegetation recruitment can be a viable option in semi-arid reclamation projects when the soil seed bank is preserved and there are proximal seed sources. While seeding improved quantitative vegetation metrics, using a seed mix comprised of different species than the preexisting vegetation may set the reclaimed vegetation on a different plant community trajectory. The general prescription of protecting new reclamation sites from grazing and trampling is supported.

KW - Erosion

KW - Invasive species

KW - Land management

KW - Priority effects

KW - Reclamation

KW - Restoration ecology

KW - Seed sources

KW - Southwestern US

KW - Vegetation communities

KW - Vegetation establishment

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85041599243&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85041599243&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/avsc.12340

DO - 10.1111/avsc.12340

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85041599243

JO - Applied Vegetation Science

JF - Applied Vegetation Science

SN - 1402-2001

ER -