The effectiveness of some herbaceous species for montane and subalpine revegetation.
- Tussock Grasslands and Mountain Lands Institute, Lincoln College, Canterbury.
The low level of plant nutrients in exposed high-altitude subsoils, and the effects of soil frost and needle ice on plants attempting to colonise these subsoils combine to make natural revegetation very difficult. Artificial revegetation trials established in 1965 at three sites in the Canterbury mountains tested the effect of a fertiliser mixture which supplied a wide range of nutrients, and compared ten herbaceous species as providers of an initial protective cover, and of a cover that would persist.
Fertiliser proved essential to survival of sown species, and Yorkshire fog showed greatest ability to provide quick ground cover. In the absence of further fertiliser over five seasons browntop and Chewings fescue provided the most persistent cover. Several species sown in the trials reseeded, and browntop, Yorkshire fog and white clover showed most ability in re-establishing as volunteers. There were few volunteer native species