MacKay, D.B., P.M. Wehi and B.D. Clarkson
To evaluate the success of restoration efforts in young urban plantings, we assessed 66 experimental plots in gully systems in Hamilton City, New Zealand, and adjacent areas. We compared vegetation change in restored patches planted with native species to vegetation in naturally regenerating patches and mature native forest. A range of variables was used to assess ecosystem functional, structural, and compositional attributes. Different planting and maintenance regimes and environmental factors likely to affect the success of plantings were also evaluated. Vegetation change towards the mature forest reference state was found to be rapid in twenty plots. However, twelve plots showed limited progress towards this state, with low numbers of lianas and epiphytes and low native species recruitment, regeneration, and species diversity.