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Klimkowska A.,University of Groningen | Klimkowska A.,Institute for Land Reclamation and Grassland Farming | Klimkowska A.,Wetland Conservation Center | Kotowski W.,Wetland Conservation Center | And 7 more authors.
Restoration Ecology | Year: 2010

We investigated the effects of different restoration treatments on the development of fen meadow communities: (1) depth of topsoil removal, with shallow (circa 20 cm) and deep (circa 40 cm) soil removal applied, (2) transfer of seed-containing hay, and (3) access of large animals. We carried out a full factorial experiment with all combinations of these factors and monitored it for 4 years. We studied the effect of seed availability in the soil seed bank on species abundance in the vegetation and compared it to the effect of species introduction by hay. We observed large differences in species composition between different treatments after 4 years. The combination of hay transfer, deep soil removal, and exclusion of large animals resulted in a community with highest similarity to the target vegetation. We found that the transfer of seeds with hay had a larger effect on species abundance than the soil seed bank. Hay transfer appeared to have important consequences on vegetation development because it speeded up the establishment of the target vegetation. © 2009 Society for Ecological Restoration International.

Querner E.P.,Wageningen University | Mioduszewski W.,Institute for Land Reclamation and Grassland Farming | Povilaitis A.,Lithuanian University of Agriculture | Slesicka A.,Institute for Land Reclamation and Grassland Farming
Polish Journal of Environmental Studies | Year: 2010

Many of the peatlands that used to extend over large parts of Northern Europe have been reclaimed for agriculture. Human influence continues to have a major impact on the hydrology of those that remain, affecting river flow and groundwater levels. In order to understand this hydrology it is necessary to analyze and assess the groundwater and surface water system as a whole. The SIMGRO model was developed for such situations: it simulates groundwater flow in the saturated and unsaturated zones and also surface water flow. Being physically-based, it is suitable for application to situations with changing hydrological conditions and for practical aspects of water management in peatlands. This paper describes the application of the model to different hydrological situations in the Netherlands, Poland and Lithuania. The 3 cases deal with aspects of flooding, natural flow regime and flood storage in relation to suitable conditions for agriculture and nature. The calibration of the model for the cases was limited, but the simulation results show that the estimates of the discharges and groundwater levels were satisfactory, demonstrating that the model is an adequate tool for simulating the hydrological system, and has the potential to assess the impact of different measures. The Dutch case demonstrates that lowland basins where the groundwater has been lowered by extensive land drainage can be restored by restricting the inflow of surface water from the upper parts of the basin: peak flows are significantly reduced. For the Polish case, the damming of ditches in the valley of the Biebrza River could significantly improve the water regime in the peatlands of this floodplain. For the Lithuanian case, the flow regime for the Dovine River could be made more natural if sluice gates were replaced by overflow spill weirs. Understanding the hydrological system is crucial for sustainable land development and effective soil and nature conservation. The different measures simulated in the 3 cases illustrate SIMGRO's potential to simulate hydrological measures.

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