Thursday, September 13, 2012

ECER 2012: Recap of day 2

Recap of Day 2

Kozub held a presentation on the different impact of the two common fen restoration methods rewetting and top-soil removal on the release of methane and the concentration of inorganic nitrogen and phosphorous. The rewetted sites had a higher concentrations of inorganic nitrogen and inorganic phosphorous than the top-soil removal sites had. Interestingly the methane release from the top-soil removal sites was not only lower than the rewetted sites, but also lower than the reference site, and comparable to the degraded control site.

Bishoff held a very thought-provoking presentation based on his research on local adaptation of plants. Theory suggests that if local adaptations really exist, than local plants should have higher fitness and perform better on their home field, compared to other plants that are brought in. The fitness of species should also decrease with increasing distance from their source population. Bischoff´s long distance transplant-experiments between different countries in Europe showed however that although local plants performed better in two cases, the third case did not show this at all. There were large differences between the provenances in fitness in the transplant experiment, but there is no general proof that local genotypes are superior. He stressed that the lack of clear evidence for local adaptation is not an argument against using local donor-sites in restoration, since the opposite (superior aliens), can be detrimental to the local populations in the long term as well.

Scott from the organization Lifeland held a presentation on how Lifeland produces seeds for the creation of meadows on abandoned land in the UK, and how the local community is involved in everything from initially wanting the meadow, to helping with the sowing and seed collection. It was a great example on how thinking outside the box, can lead to great education, community involvement and appreciation of nature in urban areas without very high investments.

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