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  • Abstracts

Grasslands

Seed Addition via Epizoochorous Dispersal in Restoration: An Experimental Approach Mimicking the Colonization of Bare Soil Patches. 2014. Freund, L. (Faculty of Biology, Vegetation Ecology and Restoration Ecology, Tecnische Universität Darmstadt, Schnittspahnstr. 4, 64287 Darmstadt, Germany, freund@bio.tu-darmstadt.de), C. Eichberg, I. Retta and A. Schwabe. Applied Vegetation Science 17:74–85.

European grassland restoration may be limited by the availability and dispersal of target plant species seeds. Various grazing livestock species such as horses, cattle, goats, and sheep can transport a wide range of plant species through epizoochorous seed dispersal across long distances. Freund and colleagues discuss how livestock reintroduction can be used as a way to provide connectivity between otherwise isolated patches of semi-natural grasslands. In this study, the establishment and spatial distribution of epizoochorously-dispersed grassland seeds via a sheep fitted with 600 seeds each of 14 species was evaluated over six years. Seeds were successfully dispersed and all but one plant species established and persisted in the former patches of bare sand. The authors note that properly managed livestock grazing can promote biodiversity if animals are moved from grasslands containing target species to restoration sites.

Bison Versus Cattle: Are They Ecologically Synonymous? 2013. Kohl, M.T. (Department of Wildland Resources, Utah State University, Logan, UT, 84321, USA, michel.kohl@aggiemail.usu.edu), P.R. Krausman, K. Kunkel and D.M. Williams. Rangeland Ecology & Management 66:721–731.

Historically, bison were the most dominant large herbivores throughout the North American Great Plains. Their grazing activities played a significant role in grassland landscape heterogeneity and support of other prairie species. The replacement of bison herds with domestic cattle has resulted in altered grazing regimes and altered landscapes as fences and livestock water reservoirs were added to rangelands. In an attempt to recover bison numbers, translocation efforts are occurring in the Northern Great Plains in areas previously used by livestock. In this study, Kohl and colleagues compared the behavior, movement, and resource use of bison to that of cattle and drew inferences about potential impacts on grassland heterogeneity at large scales. Bison and cattle were found to differ in all behaviors and were influenced by landscape features such as fences and man-made water sources. The authors suggest that much larger pasture units may be required by bison in order to facilitate their natural grazing and behavior patterns and to promote vegetation heterogeneity.

Woodlands

Consumers and Establishment Limitations Contribute More Than Competitive Interactions in Sustaining Dominance of the Exotic Herb Garlic Mustard in a Wisconsin, USA forest. 2013. Dornbush, M.E. (Department of Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin—Green Bay, 2420 Nicolet Drive, Green Bay, WI 54311, USA, dornbusm@uwgb.edu) and P.G. Hahn. Biological Invasions 15:2691–2706.

The understory vegetation community of degraded temperate forests is often characterized by low native species diversity. Multiple factors are likely to contribute to this degradation—invasive species, land use, habitat fragmentation, and high herbivore pressure are a few. In this study, Dornbush and Hahn used a four block, three factor experiment in a garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) invaded forest to measure the relative influence of invasive species competitive effects, native plant establishment, and white-tailed deer herbivory on the understory community. Garlic mustard removal was unexpectedly found to have little to no effect on native plant richness. However, the native plant understory community was significantly enhanced by the active restoration of native herbs and the exclusion of white-tailed deer. Dornbush and Hahn recommend active restoration of native herbaceous plants in woodlands and reduction of herbivore pressure rather than simply the elimination of dominant exotics. [End Page 204]

Ectomycorrhizal Inoculum Potential of Northeastern US Forest Soils for American Chestnut Restoration: Results from Field and Laboratory Bioassays. 2014. Dulmer, K.M., S.D. LeDuc and T.R. Horton (Department of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, 1 Forestry Drive, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA, trhorton@esf.edu). Mycorrhiza 24:65–74.

Chestnut blight eliminated American chestnut (Castanea dentata) as a dominant canopy tree species in Eastern US forests decades ago. Restoration efforts involving the introduction of blight-resistant chestnut seedlings are underway, yet little attention has been given...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1543-4079
Print ISSN
1543-4060
Pages
pp. 204-210
Launched on MUSE
2014-05-06
Open Access
No
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