Establishment and persistence of target species in newly created calcareous grasslands on former arable fields

  • Published source details Kiehl K. & Pfadenhauer J. (2007) Establishment and persistence of target species in newly created calcareous grasslands on former arable fields. Plant Ecology (formerly Vegetatio 1948-1996), 189, 31-48.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Restore/create species-rich, semi-natural grassland

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Restore/create species-rich, semi-natural grassland

    A replicated controlled trial near Munich, southeast Germany from 1993 to 2002 (Kiehl & Pfadenhauer 2007) (same study as (Kiehl & Wagner 2006)), found that spreading hay from a nearby nature reserve rapidly increased the number of plant species, and the number of target hay meadow species in ex-arable fields managed to restore hay meadow vegetation. The removal of topsoil combined with hay spreading increased the proportion of target species and the persistence of species, but led to a very low hay crop even after nine years. Mowing (once or twice) also increased plant species richness, and the number of target plant species. Nine years after restoration, the best plots in this experiment (mown, with hay spreading) still had a different plant community from species-rich grassland on a nearby nature reserve (Garchinger Heide). Restoration was tested on four ex-arable fields, 1.3-3.2 ha in size, beginning in 1993. Half of each field had hay added between July and September 1993 (once only) and the other half did not. Experimental plots within these treatments were either mown once, mown twice, mown with cuttings left as mulch, or grazed through spring and summer. One field had the upper 40 cm of topsoil removed. This field was either mown once in July or left unmanaged. Plant species were monitored every year on thirty 4 m2 plots per field.


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