Researcher: Martin Kastner, M.Sc. Candidate
Supervisor: Dr. Stephen Murphy, Department of Environment and Resource Studies, University of Waterloo
Meadows are often transitional habitats but are important habitats for many species of wildflowers, birds and pollinating insects which is a compelling argument towards their maintenance, protection and restoration. Martin is looking at how best to restore meadows by examining the impacts of restoring the underlying soils. He will accomplish this through the use of several restoration techniques at our Springbank Farm site.
Forty-eight two x two metre plots will be established in an old field (eight plots in each four restoration techniques and two control sites). These four soil restoration techniques are: nitrogen correction, soil aeration, a combination of aeration and nitrogen correction and planting the meadow seed mix in association with nitrogen-fixing legumes. A selection of five native meadow species will be planted in each plot. The control plots will involve planting with no soil treatment as well as a series of plots with no planting and no soil treatment. Changes in plant diversity and richness and soil properties will be monitored over time in all plots.