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Site preparation impacts on soil biotic and abiotic properties, weed control, and native grass establishment

Smith, Monique and Cavagnaro, Timothy R. and Christmas, Matthew J. and Pound, Leanne M. and Facelli, Jose M. (2021). Site preparation impacts on soil biotic and abiotic properties, weed control, and native grass establishment. Restoration Ecology. 29 , e13297
[Research article]

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Abstract

In severely degraded systems active restoration is required to overcome legacies of past land use and to create conditions that promote the establishment of target plant communities. While our understanding of the importance of soil microbial communities in ecological restoration is growing, few studies have looked at the impacts different site preparation techniques have on these communities. We trialed four methods of site preparation: fire, top-soil removal (TSR; removal of top 50 mm of soil), slashing (vegetation cut to 30 mm, biomass removed), and carbon (C; as sugar and saw-dust) addition, and quantified resulting soil bacterial communities using DNA metabarcoding. We compared the effectiveness of these techniques to reduce weed biomass, improve native grass establishment, and induce changes in soil nutrient availability. TSR was the most effective technique, leading to a reduction in both available nutrients and competition from weeds. In comparison, the remaining methods had little or no effect on weed biomass, native grass establishment, or soil nutrient availability. Both TSR and C addition resulted in changes in the soil bacterial community. These changes have the potential to alter plant community assembly in many ways, such as via nutrient acquisition, pathogenic effects, nutrient cycling, and decomposition. We recommend TSR for ecological restoration of old-fields and suggest it is a much more effective technique than burning, slashing, or C addition. Restoration practitioners should consider how their management techniques may influence the soil biota and, in turn, affect restoration outcomes.

Authors/Creators:Smith, Monique and Cavagnaro, Timothy R. and Christmas, Matthew J. and Pound, Leanne M. and Facelli, Jose M.
Title:Site preparation impacts on soil biotic and abiotic properties, weed control, and native grass establishment
Series Name/Journal:Restoration Ecology
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:29
Article number:e13297
Number of Pages:11
Publisher:WILEY
ISSN:1061-2971
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Keywords:annual weed control, burning, carbon supplements, microbial nutrient immobilization, perennial grass establishment, slashing, soil microbes, top-soil removal
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-108641
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-108641
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1111/rec.13297
Web of Science (WoS)000581034400001
ID Code:23701
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:17 May 2021 15:43
Metadata Last Modified:17 May 2021 15:51

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