Rapid Restoration of a Species-rich Ecosystem Assessed from Soil and Vegetation Indicators: The Case of Calcareous Grasslands Restored from Forest Stands

Piqueray, J., G. Bottin, L.M. Delescaille, E. Bisteau, G. Colinet and G. Mahy

Publication Date:

Calcareous grasslands have long been recognized as biodiversity hotspots in Europe. However, in recent decades these ecosystems have seen rapid decline. In Belgium, more than 100 ha of calcareous grasslands have been restored from oak coppices and pine forests since the 1990s. The aim of the present study was to provide a quantitative assessment of the success of these restoration efforts, using two sets of indicators: one related to soil conditions, the other related to vascular plant communities. Soil conditions were evaluated by comparing soil samples from pre-restoration forest stands, restored grasslands (3-age classes: 2–4 years; 5–8 years, and 10– 15 years) and reference grasslands.

Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed Article

Ecological Indicators