Effect of soil amendments (mats and hydroseeding) on establishment success of four native grassland species Phillips, M.; Gardner, Wendy; Fraser, L.; Karakatsoulis, J.
Restoration of grassland ecosystems is challenging due to moisture limitation, competition from nonnative invasive plants, and difficulty in establishing native grassland species. A manipulative experiment was designed to study the establishment for four native grassland species using combinations of two soil amendments in the lower grasslands of Kamloops, BC. The treatments included the use of a straw germination mat with seed placed either on top or underneath, hydroseeding, a combination of the straw matting with the hydro-seeding either below or on top, seeding without any soil amendment and a control with no seeding or amendment. Treatments were each replicated 6 times in a randomized complete block design. Approximately 150 seeds of each bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata), rough fescue (Festuca campestris), brown-eyed Susan (Gaillardia aristata) and long-leaved daisy (Erigeron filifolius) were broadcast seeded per plot. Soil moisture and temperature, and cover of functional groups on each treatment were recorded and statistically analyzed. The highest cover by functional group was undesirables, none of which were seeded species, indicating the presence of plant propagules at this site. It was found that mat treatments, with seeding below, resulted in the greatest cover of seeded species and the most desirable ratio of grass, forbs and undesirable species.
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