Transplant experiments to restore old fields with indigenous flora

Transplant experiments to restore old fields with indigenous flora

Charl Clarke (Hons), Lanja Oosthuizen (Hons), Lene Cronje (hons)

Supervisor: Stefan Siebert


Old fields are created through exogenous disturbance which alters the soil profile to such an extent that native plant diversity is lost. It is known that old fields in grassland can remain for over 100 years without recovering. This study tests the introduction of propagules as a means to allow for restoration of these degraded systems. We specifically ask the question whether old fields soils are unsuitable for indigenous plant growth, or whether it is just a case of seed distribution of grassland species just being limiting.


  • Transplant three species of geophytes into old fields.
  • Monitor their monthly growth parameters.
  • Record the survival rate.
  • Analyse the soil chemical and physical properties.

Expected outcomes

3 x Hons degrees; 1 x Manuscript; Long-term monitoring dataset.

Project status

In progress


No preliminary results available yet.


Presentation: Pot trials before transplant at METSI

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Nerine sp.
Nerine potting trial
Localised seed dispersal - Haemanthus sp.
Haemanthus potting tiral
Crinum sp.
Haemanthus sp.


Last updated: 11 November 2022