• Arnica montana;
  • conservation;
  • introduction strategies;
  • restoration;
  • transplantation

Abstract: The early success of plant introduction as a function of source material and habitat quality was tested in Arnica montana to determine whether different introduction strategies could affect plant viability of the introduced population. Plants originating from related (single-family introductions) and unrelated (multi-family introductions) individuals were introduced into undisturbed sites and into sites which were limed, turf cut, or both turf cut and limed. For four consecutive years, we analysed plant performance by measuring survival time, growth, and reproductive capacity. Introduction success was found to be strongly affected by habitat quality. Turf cutting in combination with additional liming significantly increased reproductive capacity and stimulated early flowering. To restore eutrophic and acidified soil conditions, turf cutting with additional liming prior to introduction is recommended. Furthermore, a significant effect of multi-family introductions was observed. Multi-family introductions showed higher introduction success compared to single-family introductions. Although the long-term effects of multi-family introductions will emerge after several generations, the preliminary results suggest multi-family introductions as the most successful introduction strategy.