Jiang, L., X. Han, G. Zhang and P. Kardol
Plant–soil feedbacks affect plant performance and plant community dynamics; however, little is known about their role in ecological restoration. Here, we studied plant–soil feedbacks in restoration of steppe vegetation after agricultural disturbance in northern China. We conclude that the occurrence of positive land-use legacies for old-field species may retard successional replacement of old-field species by steppe species. However, high levels of idiosyncrasy in responses of old-field and steppe plant species to con- and heterospecific soils indicate interspecific variation in the extent to which soil legacies and plant–soil feedbacks control successional species replacements in Chinese steppe ecosystems.