Phytometers are underutilised for evaluating ecological restoration
2013 (English)In: Basic and Applied Ecology, ISSN 1439-1791, Vol. 14, no 5, 369-377 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Ecological restoration increases, but evaluation of restoration efforts is inadequate because reliableperformance indicators are lacking. As plants are important actors in ecological restoration, wesuggest that they be used as meters, i.e. phytometers, of restoration success. Phytometer plants aretransplanted to different conditions to integrate measures of the prevailing conditions. We analysed100 studies for the use of phytometers and especially their applicability to evaluate ecologicalrestoration. Most studies employed single species and life-stages and focused on habitat conditionsand environmental impacts. Most experiments were conducted on grasslands in wet temperate regions.Growth was the dominant response variable, in long-term studies often combined with reproductiveoutput and plant survival. Only five studies specifically evaluated ecological restoration, implying thatits potential is not yet realised. We found phytometers promising in evaluating restoration outcomesgiven that they are easy to measure, can provide rapid results, and serve as integrative indicators ofenvironmental conditions with the ability of covering many aspects of plant life and ecosystemprocesses. To evaluate restoration success with high resolution and generality, we suggest acombination of different phytometer species, life-forms and life-stages, and experimental periods >1year to reduce effects of transplantation and between-year variation and to account for time lags inecological processes and changes after restoration.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 14, no 5, 369-377 p.
Bioassay; Ecosystem change; Environmental disturbance; Indicator; Plants; Transplants
Natural Sciences Ecology
Research subject Ecological Botany
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-67639DOI: 10.1016/j.baae.2013.05.008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-67639DiVA: diva2:619495