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Meta-analysis – global dataset of soil condition and invertebrate assemblages after ecological restoration in agricultural landscapes
1. Restoration of degraded landscapes has become increasingly important for conservation of species and their habitats owing to habitat destruction and rapid environmental change. An increasing focus for restoration activity are old-fields as agricultural land abandonment has expanded in the developed world. Studies examining outcomes of ecological restoration predominantly focus on vegetation structure and plant diversity, and sometimes vertebrate fauna. Fewer studies have systematically investigated effects of restoration efforts on soil chemical and biophysical condition or ground-dwelling invertebrates and there is limited synthesis of these data. 2. This dataset comprised data for a global meta-analysis of published studies to assess the effects on soil properties and invertebrates of restoring land that was previously used for agriculture. Studies were included if the site had been either cropped or grazed, restoration was either active (planting) or passive (abandonment, fencing) and if adequate data on soil chemical or physical properties or invertebrate assemblages were reported for restored, control (cropped/grazed) or reference sites. 3. The dataset includes 42 studies, published between 1994 and 2019 that met the inclusion criteria, covering 16 countries across all continents. More studies assessed passive restoration approaches than active planting, and native species were more commonly planted than exotic species.
We established a common garden experiment within a 238 ha restoration site owned and managed by the South Australian Water Corporation (SA Water), near the township of Clarendon (-35.0882°S, 138.6236°E). We grew ca. 1500 seedlings sourced from one local and two non-local provenances of <i>Eucalyptus leucoxylon</i> to test whether local provenancing was appropriate. The three provenances spanned an aridity gradient, with the local provenance sourced from the most mesic area and the distant from the most arid. We explored the effect of provenance on four fitness proxies after 15 months, including survival, above-ground height, susceptibility to insect herbivory, and pathogen related stress.
A dataset on spatial distribution and association patterns of three species from moist semi deciduous forest
Knowledge on the spatial distribution and inter-specific association patterns in tree species is essential in plant ecology to understand ecological mechanisms and dynamic process operating in spatial distribution of a tree population in a plant community. We measured and compiled datasets on three tropical tree species from a moist semi deciduous forest. We used the software Programita to perform univariate and bivariate point pattern analysis by Ripley's L-function. These datasets can be used to inform on possibilities of interaction of these species in forest stands. These datasets can be also used to access the capacity of each tree of <i>Mansonia altissima</i> var. <i>altissima</i> A. Chev. to develop and grow or its exclusion probability within a plant community. <i>Mansonia altissima</i> A. Chev. is a plant species represented by only one-population in a moist semi-deciduous forest in Republic of Benin. Our project aims to understand its ecology for restoration and conservation purposes within its natural habitat as well as other habitats inside of its distribution range.
We selected nine study sites, each incorporating three vegetation states: (a) fallow cropland, representing the restoration starting point, (b) planted old field (actively restored site), and (c) reference York gum (E. loxophleba) woodland. Plant species richness and cover All annual and perennial plant species were recorded in spring 2017 within each plot and identified to genus and species level where possible. Nomenclatures follow the Western Australian Herbarium (2017). A point intercept method previously demonstrated to provide objective and repeatable measures of cover (Godínez-Alvarez, Herrick, Mattocks, Toledo & Van Zee 2009; Prober, Standish & Wiehl 2011) was used to quantify cover of individual plant species, total vegetation cover and substrate types (i.e., bare ground, litter cover, plant cover). Ground cover, individual species, and canopy cover intercepting at every 2 m along four parallel, evenly spaced 50 m transects across each plot were recorded using a vertically placed dowel (8 mm wide, 2 m tall), resulting in 100 intercepting points per plot. For planted old fields, transects were placed parallel to planting rows, with two centred on rows and two centred between rows. This approximately represented the relative abundance of planted rows and non-planted inter-rows. If a species was recorded in the plot but did not intercept the dowel on any transect it was assigned 0.5 points. This method provided a measure of relative abundance (percentage cover) of plant species across the plot. To calculate species richness and cover across different life history and growth forms, species were classified into the following groups: total, native trees, native shrubs, native non – planted shrubs, native grasses, native perennial forbs, native annual forbs, exotic grasses and exotic annual forbs using the Western Australian Herbarium (2017) classification. Woody debris and leaf litter surveys Leaf-litter dry mass was estimated by collecting leaf-litter from five randomly placed 25 cm x 25 cm quadrats along two 50 m transects across each plot. Litter was stored in paper bags for transportation and then oven dried for 36 hours at 60 °C. The dried litter was weighed to 3 decimal points. Cover of fine and coarse woody debris and litter depth was estimated at every meter along two 20 m transects for each plot. Woody debris was classified by diameter. Length, max and min diameter was measured for all logs with a diameter greater than 10 cm.
This dataset contains the effect of stress and herbivory on the establishment of alternate provenances of a foundation tree species. This data relates to plant fitness and could be used for more broader studies in this area. We established a common garden experiment within a 238 ha restoration site owned and managed by the South Australian Water Corporation (SA Water), near the township of Clarendon (-35.0882°S, 138.6236°E). We grew ca.1500 seedlings sourced from one local and two non-local provenances of <i>Eucalyptus leucoxylon</i> to test whether local provenancing was appropriate. The three provenances spanned an aridity gradient, with the local provenance sourced from the most mesic area and the distant provenance sourced from the most arid. We explored the effect of provenance on four fitness proxies after 15 months, including survival, above-ground height, susceptibility to insect herbivory, and pathogen related stress.
We generated a total of 2,313,977 16S archaeal raw reads across the 36 replicates (64,277 ± 23,335 SD per replicate). A total of 2,299,955 archaeal sequences (63,888 ± 23,473 SD per replicate) and 1,937 archaeal OTUs (54 ± 20 SD per replicate) remained for further analysis after quality filtering. The OTU data provide information on archaeal flux at an active restoration site at Mt Bold, a water catchment reserve of the Mt Lofty Ranges in South Australia, through a stagger of years and can be used accordingly.
The authors analyzed a total of 3,002,411 quality-filtered bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences in the 48 technical replicates across 8 revegetation chronosequence sites, consisting of 3,316 OTUs. Nine bacterial phyla dominated this dataset, including Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Chloroflexi, Firmicutes, Gemmatimonadetes, Planctomycetes, Proteobacteria and Verrucomicrobia.The OTU data provide information on bacterial flux at this restoration site through a stagger of years and can be used accordingly.
High-throughput eDNA monitoring of fungi to track functional recovery in ecological restoration: OTU raw data matrix
We present a High-throughput eDNA dataset of fungi to track functional recovery in ecological restoration in the form of an OTU raw data matrix. We generated a total of 4,993,144 ITS fungal raw reads (118,884 ± 42,210 SD per replicate) across the 42 replicates. A total of 4,955,680 fungal sequences (117,430 ± 42,164 SD per replicate) remained for further analysis after quality filtering. The OTU data provide information on fungal flux at this restoration site through a stagger of years and can be used accordingly.
We investigated recovery of soil chemical properties after restoration in semi-arid Western Australia, hypothesising that elevated nutrient concentrations would gradually decline post planting, but available phosphorus (P) concentrations would remain higher than reference conditions. We used a space-for-time substitution approach, comparing 10 planted old field plots with matched fallow cropland and reference woodlands. Sampling on planted old fields and reference woodland plots was stratified into open patches and under tree canopy to account for consistent differences between these areas. Soil samples to 10 cm depth were collected at 20 points across 30 plots. Ten samples were randomly collected and combined from locations beneath trees and a further 10 samples collected in gaps and combined, resulting in one soil sample for beneath tree canopy and another one for gap areas. Sampling occurred in autumn 2017 to capture potentially high concentrations of soil nitrate following the seasonal die-back of exotic annual plants typical of this Mediterranean-climate region. Samples were stored at 4 °C in plastic zip-lock bags until delivery to the CSBP Limited (Bibra Lake, WA) laboratories. Chemical parameters measured were plant available P (Colwell), plant available N (nitrate and ammonium), total N, plant available potassium (Colwell) and plant available sulphur (KCl 40). Lastly, electrical conductivity, pH (H2O, CaCl2), and soil texture were quantified as differences among plots could affect nutrient availability and soil chemistry. Soil available nutrients were also measured using Plant Root Simulator (PRS)TM resin probes (Western Ag Innovations, 2010, https://www.westernag.ca/inn). Probes contain anion or cation exchange membranes within a plastic stake. The membranes act as a sink for collecting nutrients and continuously absorb ions during deployment. Four anion and cation probes were placed vertically in the top 15 cm of soil at each stratification. Probes were left in the ground for three months during the growing season, from August to November 2017. This period was deemed suitable for semi-arid regions to achieve sufficient nutrient uptake but not too long to saturate probes. After removal, probes were cleaned with deionized water and sent to Western Ag Innovations (Canada) for analysis. All soil chemical analyses were conducted under laboratory conditions using standard test procedures. PRS probe nutrients are reported as micrograms/10cm2/time.
This data set is a compilation of individual tree and shrub above-ground biomass (dry weight), stem diameter, height, and associated auxiliary information about the sites from which the trees or shrubs were sampled. The data were derived from numerous different projects over the last 5 decades. However, the project under which support was given to collate these datasets was Australia's Department of the Environments Methodology Development Program's Complex Wood System Project (MDP-CWS). The objective of the MDP-CWS project was to develop tools and information to underpin increased land manager participation in the domestic carbon market; the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF). However, the intention is that this database will be expanded over time and have much greater use than just supporting carbon accounting methodologies. See publication for details: "Keryn I. Paul, John Larmour, Alison Specht, Ayalsew Zerihun, Peter Ritson, Stephen H. Roxburgh, Stan Sochacki, Tom Lewis, Craig V.M. Barton, Jacqueline R. England, Michael Battaglia, Anthony O'Grady, Elizabeth Pinkard, Grahame Applegate, Justin Jonson, Kim Brooksbank, Rob Sudmeyer, Dan Wildy, Kelvin D. Montagu, Matt Bradford, Don Butler, Trevor Hobbs, Testing the generality of below-ground biomass allometry across plant functional types, Forest Ecology and Management. 432: 102-114. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2018.08.043. Paul, K.I., Larmour, J., Specht, A., Zerihun, A., Ritson, P., Roxburgh, S.H., Sochacki, S., Lewis, T., Barton, C.V.M., England, J.R., Battaglia, M., O’Grady, A., Pinkard, E., Applegate, G., Jonson, J., Brooksbank, K., Sudmeyer, R., Wildy, D., Montagu, K.D., Bradford, M., Butler, D., Hobbs, T., 2019. Testing the generality of below-ground biomass allometry across plant functional types. Forest Ecology and Management 432, 102–114. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2018.08.043