Study

Botanical composition, yield and herbage quality of swards of different age on organic meadowlands

  • Published source details Neuteboom J.H., t'Mannetje L., Lantinga E.A. & Wind K. (1994) Botanical composition, yield and herbage quality of swards of different age on organic meadowlands. 15th Meeting of the European Grassland Federation, Netherlands, 320.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Reduce chemical inputs in grassland management

Action Link
Farmland Conservation

Reduce grazing intensity on grassland (including seasonal removal of livestock)

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Reduce chemical inputs in grassland management

    A trial from 1972 to 1989 on a grassland in the Netherlands (Neuteboom et al. 1994) found that the number of plant species hardly increased over a twelve-year period of reduced fertilization, and the abundance of herbaceous (non-grass) species decreased. From 1986 to 1988 no fertilizer was applied and there was no increase in the number of plant species. By 1990, only two herb species (cuckoo flower Cardamine pratensis and meadow buttercup Ranunculus acer now R. acris) were present in more than 5% of 100 vegetation samples. The authors suggest that plant diversity did not increase because of the dense growth of a small number of competitive grass species. Species that could have colonized were present on the field borders and ditches. The 6.6 ha grassland in the Netherlands (location unknown) had been fertilized at 200 kg N/ha, grazed and mown for silage for many years. From 1973-1985, fertilizer was reduced to 50 kg N/ha. The stocking rate was five steers/ha from April to July, then 3.5 steers/ha until October. From 1986-1988, no fertilizer was applied. Three paddocks of 2.2 ha had stocking rates of 2.3, 3.6 or 4.9 steers/ha from April to October.

     

     

  2. Reduce grazing intensity on grassland (including seasonal removal of livestock)

    A trial from 1986 to 1989 on a grassland in the Netherlands (Neuteboom et al. 1994) found no difference in the number of plant species between three different cattle stocking rates. No fertilizer was applied during the study. By 1990, only two herb species (cuckoo flower Cardamine pratensis and meadow buttercup Ranunculus acer now R. acris) were present in more than 5% of 100 vegetation samples. The authors suggest that plant diversity did not increase because of the dense growth of a small number of competitive grass species. Species that could have colonized were present on the field borders and ditches. The 6.6 ha grassland had been grazed at a rate of five steers/ha from April to July, then 3.5 steers/ha until October, from 1973 until 1985. From 1986 onwards it was divided into three 2.2 ha paddocks, each grazed at a single fixed stocking rate - either 2.3, 3.6 or 4.9 steers/ha from April to October.

     

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 18

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.


Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust