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: Semi-natural grasslands: the effects of cutting frequency on long-term changes of floristic composition

Published source details

Kramberger B. & Kaligaric M. (2008) Semi-natural grasslands: the effects of cutting frequency on long-term changes of floristic composition. Polish Journal of Ecology, 56, 33-43


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

Maintain species-rich, semi-natural grassland Farmland Conservation

A randomized, replicated trial in 1995-2006 at a semi-natural grassland site near Maribor, Slovenia (Kramberger & Kaligaric 2008) found that occasional late cutting may allow farmers to maintain a stable grass yield, without stimulating the spread of broadleaved plants (forbs). The study applied different cutting frequencies (at 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 week intervals) on semi-natural grassland between 1995 and 2006, and measured the effect on the dry matter proportions of grasses, legumes and non-legume broadleaved plants in May 1995, 1999, 2002 and 2006. There were four replicates. In the final year (2006), the treatment with the least frequent cuts resulted in the highest proportion of grasses (77%) and lowest proportion of non-legume broadleaved plants (19%) in the dry matter of harvest. Although the digestibility of forage produced by infrequent cutting does not meet the needs of modern livestock production, occasional very late cuts could offer a compromise between maintaining grassland biodiversity, while allowing farmers to maintain a stable grass yield.