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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Biodiversity in grassland

Published source details

Nosberger J., Messerli M. & Carlen C. (1998) Biodiversity in grassland. Annales De Zootechnie, 47, 383-393


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

Reduce management intensity on permanent grasslands (several interventions at once) Farmland Conservation

A 1998 review of two studies (Nösberger et al. 1998) concluded that reducing management intensity on permanent grassland is likely to benefit two important pasture species, white clover Trifolium repens and meadow fescue Festuca pratensis. The first study (Schwank et al. 1986) found that frequent cutting and fertilization reduced the yield of white clover from 5% (under traditional management) to 2%. This was probably due to clover leaves growing closer to the ground and being shaded by taller plants after fertilization. A second study (Carlen 1994) concluded that the decline in meadow fescue found under intensive management results from its low competitive ability (due to small leaves and low root activity), rather than direct effects of cutting or fertilization. The study locations are not given.

Additional references:

Schwank O., Blum H. & Nösberger J. (1986) The influence of irradiance distribution on the growth of white clover (Trifolium repens L.) in differently managed canopies of permanent grassland. Annals of Botany, 57, 273-281.

Carlen C. (1994) Root competition and shoot competition between Festuca pratensis Huds. and Dactylis glomerata L. PhD thesis No. 10512, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich.