Title: Comparison of two ecological succession monitoring protocols on restored andisol

Author(s): Idrissa Soumana
Final project
Year of publication:
Document URL: Link
Supervisors: Asa L. Aradottir , Sigþrúður Jónsdóttir
ecological restoration, assessment, stick method, modified Braun-Blanquet protocol, generalized linear model, multivariate analysis, Iceland


The purpose of this study was to compare and contrast data from the stick and modified Braun-Blanquet monitoring protocols in three areas with different land use histories: an unrestored barren area, and both young and old revegetated areas. Vegetation and site characteristics were assessed at the three areas using the two protocols and soil sampling. The analysis of the data from the two protocols indicated a similar tendency, namely the improvement of the ecological condition of the restored areas compared to the unrestored area. The soil carbon and nitrogen content increased when the pH decreased with the age of restoration. The improvement was better in the old restored area which had received more fertilization compared to the young restoration area. The stick method estimated a greater cover of vascular plants, litter, mosses and rocks, and a lower amount of bare ground than did the modified Braun-Blanquet protocol. The two protocols provided similar estimates for lichen and sedge cover. The stick method also provided three supplementary indicators which were not included by the modified Braun-Blanquet: plant base, basal and canopy gaps. Another observation that could be proved by further studies was that the stick seemed to be more precise and more economical in time than the modified Braun-Blanquet. The indicators provided by the two protocols were related to the three attributes of ecosystems and the rangeland health indicators. This study was preliminary and the results cannot lead to recommendation of one method over the other, but the results do indicate a preference for the stick method to assess and monitor vegetation dominated by an understorey layer and for the modified Braun-Blanquet for areas dominated by a woody layer.

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