Conservation Evidence strives to be as useful to conservationists as possible. Please take our survey to help the team improve our resource.

Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Vegetation response to cessation of fertilizer application on an alluvial agriculturally improved meadow near Cerníkovice, Kráovéhradecký, Czech Republic

Published source details

Hrevusova Z., Hejcman M., Pavlu V.V., Hakl J., Klass paudisová M. & Mrkvicka J. (2009) Long-term dynamics of biomass production, soil chemical properties and plant species composition of alluvial grassland after the cessation of fertilizer application in the Czech Republic. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 130, 123-130

This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Reduce chemical inputs in grassland management Farmland Conservation

A replicated, controlled trial in the Czech Republic (Hrevušová et al. 2009) found that 16 years after fertilizer applications were stopped, the effects of different rates of fertilizer applications on plant communities were still apparent. Cover of tall nitrogen-loving grasses (especially Yorkshire fog Holcus lanatus) in the treatment with 400 kg N/ha plus PK remained significantly higher than in control plots in 2007. Meadow buttercup Ranunculus acris was most negatively affected by former application rates. Although species richness was not statistically significantly affected by treatment, the number of species decreased from controls to treatments receiving 400 kg N/ha plus PK, after 16 years. The following treatments were applied to 5 x 6 m plots of alluvial meadow foxtail Alopecurus pratensis grassland: unfertilized, phosphorous and potassium (PK), 100 kg N/ha plus PK, 200 kg N/ha plus PK, 300 kg N/ha plus PK, 400 kg N/ha plus PK, from 1966 to 1990 or 1975 to 1990 for the final two treatments. Annual application rates of P and K were 40 and 100 kg/ha, respectively. There were four replicates of each treatment. Fertilizer application was stopped in 1991 in half of each plot and the responses of plant communities monitored until 2007.