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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The effect of cutting and fertilizing on the floristic composition and production of an Arrhenatherion elatioris grassland

Published source details

Oomes M.J.M. & Mooi H. (1981) The effect of cutting and fertilizing on the floristic composition and production of an Arrhenatherion elatioris grassland. Vegetatio, 47, 233-239


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

Maintain traditional water meadows (includes management for breeding and/or wintering waders/waterfowl) Farmland Conservation

A randomized, replicated, controlled trial in 1972-1979 on a wet Arrhenatherion elatioris grassland site in the Netherlands (Oomes & Mooi 1981) found that cutting in June, with or without a second cut in September, maintained a relatively stable vegetation.  Cutting once in August had a similar effect, but is expected in the long run to produce denser vegetation with a loss of some species. Cutting in May, May and September, or June increased the number of plant species from 52/plot (at the beginning of the experiment) to 55/plot after eight years. Never cutting, or cutting every other June, were the only treatments to reduce species richness, to 38 and 49 species/plot, respectively.  Fertilizer treatments (NPK: nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium) (50:20:20 kg NPK/ha and 50 kg N/ha, with a June cut) led to dominance by a few species but did not reduce species richness.  The Arrhenatherion elatioris grassland included false oat grass Arrhenatherum elatius, cock’s foot Dactylis glomerata and Queen Anne’s lace Daucus carota. Treatments were replicated four times in 100 m2 plots. Plants were surveyed each May in 50 quadrats/plot of 25 cm2 for monocotyledons (mainly grasses) and 400 cm2 for dicotyledons (broadleaved plants).