Diverse responses across soil parent materials during ecological restoration

Scott R. Abella, Joseph E. Crouse, Wallace W Covington, Judith D. Springer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A major challenge to advancing the science and practice of ecological restoration is working across large landscapes containing diverse sites that may respond differently to restoration. We conducted a 5-year restoration experiment, replicated across 9 sites spanning 3 soil parent material types within a 9,000-ha Pinus ponderosa forest landscape. We evaluated plant community response to restoration Pinus thinning, grazing, and aqueous smoke application. We measured vegetation before (2003) and 3 (2006) and 5 (2008) years after treatment. Plant community responses of species richness, cover, and composition were diverse, ranging from increases, decreases, or no change depending on soil parent material, tree thinning, and presence or exclusion of grazing. Restoration outcomes were under hierarchical control: soil parent material constrained response to Pinus thinning, which in turn influenced grazing effects. On limestone-derived soil, responses included no change in species richness but increased plant cover with Pinus thinning. Both plant richness and cover increased on benmorite soil after thinning, and cover generally increased more without grazing. On rocky, basalt soil, plant richness increased but cover did not after any treatment. Diversity of responses to restoration has implications for: (1) setting goals or monitoring indicators tailored to inherent soil capability; (2) identifying where grazing most affects restoration outcomes; and (3) forecasting responses to restoration across landscapes. Diverse responses to restoration along physiographic gradients such as soil parent material warrant consideration when developing restoration across degraded landscapes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-121
Number of pages9
JournalRestoration Ecology
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

Fingerprint

soil parent materials
ecological restoration
parent material
thinning (plants)
grazing
Pinus
thinning
soil
plant communities
species diversity
basalt
landscape management
community response
Pinus ponderosa
ground cover plants
smoke
limestone
plant community
species richness
restoration

Keywords

  • Environmental gradient
  • Grazing
  • Landscape
  • Parent material
  • Pinus ponderosa forest
  • Soil
  • Tree thinning
  • Understory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Cite this

Diverse responses across soil parent materials during ecological restoration. / Abella, Scott R.; Crouse, Joseph E.; Covington, Wallace W; Springer, Judith D.

In: Restoration Ecology, Vol. 23, No. 2, 01.03.2015, p. 113-121.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abella, Scott R. ; Crouse, Joseph E. ; Covington, Wallace W ; Springer, Judith D. / Diverse responses across soil parent materials during ecological restoration. In: Restoration Ecology. 2015 ; Vol. 23, No. 2. pp. 113-121.
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