Lee, C.S., Y.H. You and G.R. Robinson
Floristic composition and soil characteristics (moisture, pH, nutrient contents) in abandoned upland rice paddies of different ages were analyzed to clarify the regenerative aspects of succession as a tool for habitat restoration. The study sites represented five seral stages: newly abandoned paddy fields; successional paddy fields abandoned for 3, 7, and 10 years; and a 50- year-old Alnus japonica forest. The pace and direction of recovery of native vegetation and natural soil properties in these abandoned rice paddies resembled classic old field succession, a form of secondary succession that often serves as a template for guiding restoration efforts. Active intervention, in particular dismantling artificial levees, could accelerate the recovery process, but natural habitat recovery generally appears sufficiently robust to achieve “passive” restoration of this rare community without intervention.