The main objective of my project is to evaluate how important soil disturbance is in maintaining a high diversity in grasslands, and how such restoration option best can be implemented.
The project focuses on the role of disturbance in sand steppes, a type of sandy calcareous grasslands found in eastern Scania. Sand steppe occurs on CaCO2 rich sandy soils, and it is dependent on disturbance to ensure that the lime is maintained in the upper soil layer.
These species rich grassland communities have become rare due to land use intensification or abandonment. Many of the sand steppes in Scania are today acidified and the lime rich soil is depleted to deeper sand levels (often at 0,5 m depth).
To study the effects of soil disturbance on the soil chemistry as well as the vegetation development, degenerated sand steppe areas have been subjected to perturbation (deep soil perturbation down to 1 m, and shallow soil perturbation to less than 0,5 m depth).
In addition, time series of aerial photographs, starting in the 1940s, are used to determine historical land use changes for the study areas. Satellite images are being used to create vegetation maps that can later be used for vegetation modeling.
The hypotheses that will be tested are:
Last modified 5 Dec 2012