Restoring oak forests through direct seeding or planting: Protocol for a continental-scale experiment

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Leverkus, Alexandro B. and Levy, Laura and Andivia Muñoz, Enrique and Annighöfer, Peter and De Cuyper, Bart and Ivetic, Vladan and Lazdina, Dagnija and Löf, Magnus and Villar Salvador, Pedro (2021) Restoring oak forests through direct seeding or planting: Protocol for a continental-scale experiment. PLoS ONE, 16 (11). ISSN 1932-6203

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0259552



Abstract

The choice of revegetating via direct seeding or planting nursery-grown seedlings influences the potential stresses suffered by seedlings such as herbivory and drought. The outcome of the balance between both revegetation methods may ultimately depend on how species identity and traits such as seed and seedling size interact with environmental conditions. To test this, we will conduct a continental-scale experiment consisting of one mini-experiment replicated by multiple participants across Europe. Each participant will establish a site with seeded and planted individuals of one or more native, locally growing oak (Quercus) species; the selection of this genus aims to favour continental-scale participation and to allow testing the response of a widely distributed genus of broad ecological and economic relevance. At each site, participants will follow the present protocol for seed collection, seeding in the field, nursery cultivation, outplanting, protection against herbivores, site maintenance, and measurement of seedling performance and environmental variables. Each measurement on each species at each site will produce one effect size; the data will be analysed through mixed-effects meta-analysis. With this approach we will assess the main effect of revegetation method, species, plant functional traits, and the potential effect of site-specific effect moderators. Overall, we will provide a continental-scale estimate on the seeding vs. planting dilemma and analyse to what extent the differences in environmental conditions across sites, seed size, functional traits, and the phylogenetic relatedness of species can account for the differences in the effect of revegetation method on seedling performance across study sites and species.

Resumen (otros idiomas)

La elección del método de revegetación (siembra directa o plantación) puede delimitar el éxito de los proyectos de restauración influyendo significativamente en la resistencia de las plantas al estrés hídrico y a la herbivoría. Las diferencias de éxito entre ambos métodos dependerá de la interacción entre las características funcionales de las especies, como el tamaño de las plantas y las semillas, y las condiciones ambientales. Sin embargo, no existen hasta la fecha estudios que hayan comparado ambos métodos con metodologías estandarizadas y a lo largo de grandes gradientes ambientales. Este trabajo establece la metodología y el diseño experimental para llevar a cabo un estudio a escala paneuropea sobre el éxito de proyectos de restauración con especies de quercíneas comparando la siembra directa con la plantación. Los resultados de este estudio aportarán soluciones específicas para la restauración de distintos ambientes a escala continental y analizarán cómo las condiciones ambientales de los sitios experimentales y las propias características de las especies pueden condicionar el éxito de ambos métodos de revegetación.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Medical sciences > Biology > Ecology
ID Code:72961
Deposited On:17 Jun 2022 13:30
Last Modified:27 Jun 2022 08:58

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