To test the possibility of community steering through application of soil inocula in the field byanalysing a large-scale, well-replicated, soil inoculation experiment on soils that had been used forarable farming for several decades.
Type of Study:
Large-scale field experiment and mesocosm experiment
Results showed that soil inoculation can promote ecological restoration in the field.Depending on the origin of the soil inoculum the restoration site could be steered to become either grassland or heathland.Mesocosm experiment showed thatwhen differences in seed availability are alleviated, soil inoculation can still steer vegetation composition.
5 experimental treatments: heathland soil, grassland soil, control, grassland soil outside the excavations and their controls.
Manipulation of soil communities throughsoil inoculation is a powerful tool for the restoration of degraded terrestrial ecosystems.
Linear mixed models, NMDS, MRPP.
Response variable :
Plant and soil community composition, as well as abiotic soil conditions
Dry heathland, a grassland
Wubs, E. J., van der Putten, W. H., Bosch, M., & Bezemer, T. M. (2016). Soil inoculation steers restoration of terrestrial ecosystems. Nature plants, 2, 16107.