Low seed germination and seedling establishment are the greatest challenges for revegetation success. Topographic microsites are known to enhance seed germination and seedling establishment due to their unique soil properties and provision of shelter from elements and herbivores; soil amendments can supply organic matter and nutrients for plant establishment and growth when limited. We investigated the effect of three topographic microsites and six soil amendments and their additive effects on three disturbed grasslands in central and southern Alberta, Canada. Treatments were topographic microsites of mounds, pits, and flats, with and without amendments (erosion control blanket, hay, straw, manure, hydrogel, control) and were seeded with four native grasses and three native forb species. Seedling emergence and survival and soil temperature and water content were assessed over two seasons and plant cover over three seasons. The effect of microsites and amendments was not additive. The addition of erosion control blanket, hay, and straw to flat sites was just as productive as on topographic microsites. These amendments increased grass and forb emergence and buffered soil temperature. Mounds increased first year forb emergence and reduced over winter survival rates for grasses and forbs. Pits were not beneficial for revegetation. The effect of topographic microsites and amendments was influenced by site conditions.
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