Bullock, J.M. and R.F. Pywell
The restoration of species-rich grasslands is often hindered by high residual soil fertility as a result of, e.g., intensive farming. The establishment of a diverse range of target species on such sites requires the reduction of soil fertility or of the vigour of competitive plants. Current methods to achieve these aims are often unsuccessful or complicated and expensive. It has been suggested that Rhinanthus species could be used to decrease the growth of competitive plants and enhance species diversity. We give suggestions for further research, including: the range of species-poor grasslands into which Rhinanthus can be introduced successfully and which Rhinanthus species should be used; the mechanisms by which Rhinanthus enhances diversity in restored grasslands; whether the ecotype or subspecies of Rhinanthus used affects restoration success; how management methods affect population growth and spread of Rhinanthus; and whether other parasitic plants could be used in habitat restoration.