Individual study: Changes in wet meadow vegetation after 20 years of different mowing, fertilizer addition and fallow management regimes, Münsterland, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Poptcheva K., Schwartze P., Vogel A., Kleinebecker T. & Hölzel N. (2009) Changes in wet meadow vegetation after 20 years of different management in a field experiment (north-west Germany). Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 134, 108-114
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Restore or create traditional water meadows
A long-term replicated trial in 1987-2007 on seven semi-natural wet meadow sites in Münsterland, Germany (Poptcheva et al. 2009) found that mowing twice a year (in June/July and September) without fertilizer was the most effective regime for restoring target wet meadow plant communities and resulted in highest species richness. However, successional changes were still happening 20 years after the start of the trial, probably due to slow immigration of new species. Management regime had a stronger effect on the pattern of succession than other environmental or historic factors. Treatments were carried out from 1987 to 2007 in 200-250 m2 fields and plants were surveyed in four 2 x 2 m plots/field at least every second year. Above ground biomass was measured in 1989, 1993, 1998 and 2007 by harvesting eight 0.5 x 0.5 m plots/field.