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Abstract

Results are presented using vegetative shoots and bryophyte sods to restore floristically impoverished high arctic wet sedge-moss meadows that had suffered intense damage from vehicle activity during the period 1960–1967. Clonal transplants of Carex aquatilis var. stans, a native sedge, were planted with and without bryophyte sods in vehicle ruts in 1972. After nearly two decades, there was less Carex cover in the planted ruts with flowing water than in the contiguous controls. This pattern was slightly reversed in planted plots with standing water. Reinvasion of Eriophorum angustifolium occurred in treated ruts, but cover was less in both treatments than in controls in 1990. The unexpected recruitment of Eriophorum scheuchzeri from the seed bank in moss-sodded plots is discussed in terms of its local and regional importance. Total plant cover in restored ruts was nearly equal to that of controls, but biomass was somewhat less than that in control plots. Plots with bryophytes were environmentally distinct, due primarily to increases in organic mat depth relative to controls. After 18 years, restoration efforts resulted in increased plant cover in treated ruts compared to naturally recovering ruts.