Carbon addition alters vegetation composition on ex-arable fields
- Soil Ecology
2. To test the effect of C addition on habitat creation on ex-arable land, an experiment was set up on two recently abandoned fields in Switzerland and on two 6-year-old restoration sites in the UK. Carbon was added as a mixture of either sugar and sawdust or wood chips and sawdust during a period of 2 years. The effects of C addition on soil parameters and vegetation composition were assessed during the period of C additions and 1 year thereafter.
3. Soil nitrate concentrations were reduced at all sites within weeks of the first C addition, and remained low until cessation of the C additions. The overall effect of C addition on vegetation was a reduction in above-ground biomass and cover. At the Swiss sites, the addition of sugar and sawdust led to a relative increase in legume and forb cover and to a decrease in grass cover. The soil N availability, composition of soil micro-organisms and vegetation characteristics continued to be affected after cessation of C additions.
4. Synthesis and applications. The results suggest that C addition in grassland restoration is a useful management method to reduce N availability on ex-arable land. Carbon addition alters the vegetation composition by creating gaps in the vegetation that facilitates the establishment of late-seral plant species, and is most effective when started immediately after the abandonment of arable fields and applied over several years.
- Soil Ecology
- ISSN: 1365-2664
Doctoral students and Postdocs
PhD students, main supervisor
PhD students, assistant supervisor
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Previous research projects
- Effects of farming methods on organic carbon content of arable soils - Systematic Review (Mistra EviEM)
- Valuation of ecosystem services
- Functional Diversity of Carbon Cycling Microbes in Soil through Metagenomics
- Agriculture and global change, BECC
- Governance and economics of natural resources, BECC
- Conservation and animal movement, CAnMove
- Dispersal & speciation, CAnMove