• fen meadows, restoration, germination, succession


The present investigation was part of a fen restoration project, which deals with the rehabilitation of a deeply drained peat land used for intensive agriculture for more than 200 years. Consequently, the conditions for restoration are unfavorable. The hay of well-developed fen meadows from nature reserves in the region appeared to contain enough viable seeds to act as a source for the development of target communities when spread out on bare peat after topsoil removal. Repeated vegetation analysis showed that a combination of topsoil removal and hay transfer resulted in the establishment of new populations in the target area for 70% of the species of the donor area. Germination conditions of fen species were investigated to determine the optimal combination for stimulating germination rates. Most fen species were found to be dormant, and it was shown that dormancy could be broken with fluctuating light and temperature cycles and stratification pre-treatment.