Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Woodland restoration on agricultural land: long-term impacts on soil quality
Author(s): Ashwood, Frank
Watts, Kevin
Park, Kirsty
Fuentes-Montemayor, Elisa
Benham, Sue
Vanguelova, Elena I
Contact Email:
Keywords: Ecology
Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Nature and Landscape Conservation
Issue Date: Nov-2019
Citation: Ashwood F, Watts K, Park K, Fuentes-Montemayor E, Benham S & Vanguelova EI (2019) Woodland restoration on agricultural land: long-term impacts on soil quality. Restoration Ecology, 27 (6), pp. 1381-1392.
Abstract: Woodland restoration is underway globally, to counter the negative soil quality and ecological impacts of agricultural expansion and woodland fragmentation, and restore or enhance biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services. However, we lack information about the long‐term effects of woodland restoration on agricultural soils, particularly at temporal scales meaningful to woodland and soil development. This study utilised soil and earthworm sampling across a chronosequence of sites transitioning from ‘agricultural land’ to ‘secondary woodland’ (50‐110 years) and ‘ancient woodland’ (>400 years), with the goal of quantifying the effects of woodland restoration on agricultural land, on key soil quality parameters (soil bulk density, pH, carbon and nitrogen stocks, and earthworm abundance, biomass, species richness and diversity). Broad‐leaved woodland restoration led to significantly greater soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks compared to arable land, and young (50‐60 years) secondary woodland increased earthworm species and functional diversity compared to both arable and pasture agricultural land. SOC stocks in secondary broad‐leaved woodlands (50‐110 years) were comparable to those found in long‐term ancient woodlands (>400 years). Our findings show that broad‐leaved woodland restoration of agricultural land can lead to meaningful soil ecological improvement and gains in SOC within 50 to 110 years, and provide intel on how restoration activities may be best targeted to maximise soil quality and functions.
DOI Link: 10.1111/rec.13003
Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Ashwood, F., Watts, K., Park, K., Fuentes‐Montemayor, E., Benham, S. and Vanguelova, E.I. (2019), Woodland restoration on agricultural land: long‐term impacts on soil quality. Restoration Ecology, 27: 1381-1392, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Licence URL(s):

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Ashwood_et_al-2019-Restoration_Ecology.pdfFulltext - Accepted Version615.62 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

This item is protected by original copyright

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.