Author's personal copy
J. Lorite et al. / Landscape and Urban Planning
97 (2010) 92–97
Details of the hydroseeding seed mixture.Species Seed mass % purity
) Seeds (m
0.320 0.200 30.0 0.42 8 1.6
subsp. amabilis 0.193 0.610 90.0 0.02 5 1
0.280 0.470 47.5 1.11 88 17.8
0.120 0.180 25.0 3.18 119 24.1
0.750 0.910 63.0 1.69 129 26.1
0.670 0.950 75.0 0.25 26 5.3
0.762 0.490 86.0 0.2 11 2.2
0.041 0.398 80.0 0.12 93 18.9
1.218 0.420 57.0 0.12 2 0.4
0.700 0.210 75.0 0.47 11 2.2Seed mass, weight per 100 seeds; % purity, percentage of purity;
, % of seed germination;
), weight of seeds applied per square meter; seeds (m
), number of viableseedappliedpersquaremeter;%,percentageofseedbelongingtoonespeciesinthemixture(dataprovidedbytechnicalenvironmentalstaffofCETURSASierraNevadaS.A.).
Some studies have pointed out the changes in plant-speciescomposition, dynamics, biomass, etc. caused by the building of ski runs and later restoration using the different techniques (e.g.Watson,1985;Urbanska,1995,1997;Tsuyuzaki,1990,1995,2002;Muller et al., 1998; Urbanska and Fattorini, 2000), but all of themhave focused on alpine ecosystems sensu stricto. Restoration of Mediterraneanhigh-mountainecosystemshavenotyetbeenstud-ied despite that there are major differences with respect to Alpinemountains (Grabherr et al., 2003) due to climatic irregularity andtheexistenceoftwostressperiodsforplants:winter,owingtolowtemperatures;andsummer,duetothetypicalMediterraneansum-mer drought (Giménez-Benavides et al., 2007). The present studywas conducted in Sierra Nevada (SE Spain), a good example of aMediterranean mountain with a ski station (the southernmost inEurope).This study assesses the results of plant restoration works onski runs under Mediterranean conditions, comparing results froma chronosequence and evaluating different issues frequently usedasindicators,suchascover,richness,diversity,growth,andspeciescomposition.Theaimwastoestablishamethodologytoassessthesuccess of the vegetation recovery in ski runs and other disturbedenvironments.
2. Materials and methods
2.1. Study area
The study area is located at the ski station of Sierra Nevada (SESpain;37
W),intheSierraNevadamountain.Thismountainarea covers about 2100km
included in the Baetic range. SierraNevada is a major Mediterranean diversity hotspot (Médail andQuézel, 1997, 1999); in fact, above 2000m asl occur nearly 100endemic and rare taxa (Lorite et al., 2007a) as well as rare and/orendemic plant communities (Lorite et al., 2007b). Geologically,the study site is constituted of siliceous rocks, mainly micaschists( Jabaloy et al., 2008). The soils belong to the suborders Orthentsand Ochrepts, the soil units being Anthropic Regosols and HumicRegosols, with sandy loam or loamy sand containing a high pro-portion of gravel texture (Delgado et al., 2007). In general, theclimate is typically Mediterranean although with high-mountainfeatures. The average annual rainfall of the area is 925mm withmainlysnow-basedprecipitationsandanextendedperiodofsum-mer drought, while the mean annual temperature is 3
C, hottest month: 14
C) (for further information seeGómez, 2002). The ski station,builtin1964,isprovidedwith115skirunsand102.88skiablekilo-meters, ranging between 2100 and 3300m asl. In years with highrainfall,theaveragesnowdepthexceeds2matmostskislopesdur-ing the ski season, although in some areas more than 5m can bereached, in contrast to dry years, when the snow is almost absent.Therefore, the ski resort produces artiﬁcial snow when necessary.Theﬁrstsnowmachineswereinstalledin1989,andatpresentdayproduce artiﬁcial snow for 32km of snow runs (source: CetursaSierra Nevada S.A.;www.cetursa.es).
2.2. Ski-run restoration
Theski-runconstructionatthesitedatesbacktotheearly1960s,for which the topsoil (10–40cm of depth, accordingDelgado et al.,2007) was removed and discarded, exposing the underlying min-eral soil and bedrock. The ﬁrst restoration works date from 2000(Gálvez, pers. com.), although not until 2002 did the restorationprogram begin in strict terms. Since then the ﬁrm that managesthe ski runs has undertaken sowing by hydroseeding (see furtherdetails on the technique inMerlin et al., 1999), in all cases dur-ing the autumn (throughout October) using the same mixture of autochthonous seeds every sowing period (seeTable 1), harvestedinthesurroundingsoftheskiruns(seeTable1).Theassessedperiodin this study corresponds to the hydroseedings performed over 4years:2002(ca.1.5ha),2003(ca.2.8ha),2004(ca.3.1ha),and2005(ca. 1.9ha).
2.3. Sampling design
Field samples were carried out during the summer of 2006. Achronosequence was established for this purpose (Kent and Coker,1992; Foster and Tilman, 2000), including the areas seeded from2002 to 2005 (H02, H03, H04, H05, hereafter) (Fig. 1). The plantcommunity we sought to restore was a native Mediterranean-alpine perennial pasture of
It is also composedof others species such as
Conceptual scheme established for the monitoring of the chronosequence.On the
-axis, time (in years) from the recovery action (note that 0 corresponds totheevaluatingtimein2006).Onthe
-axis,evaluationissuessettledtoevaluatetherecovery success (see Section2for further information).