Assessing Grassland Restoration Success: Relative Roles of Seed Additions and Native Ungulate Activities

Martin, L.M. and B.J. Wolsey

Publication Date:

Grassland restorations often lack rare forb and grass species that are found in intact grasslands. The possible reasons for low diversity include seed limitation, microsite limitation and a combination of both. Native ungulates may create microsites for seedling establishment in tallgrass prairie restorations by grazing dominant species or through trampling activities, but this has never been tested in developing prairies. These results suggest that tallgrass prairie restorations are primarily seed limited and that grazing alone may not be able to increase seedling emergence of rare species without the addition of seeds. Therefore, adding seeds to grassland restorations may increase seedling emergence of rare species, and mimicking effects of grazing may increase emergence when seeds are added.

Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed Article

Journal of Applied Ecology