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Individual study: Plant species increased for six years following extensification, but then decreased in unfertilised plots, in the Netherlands

Published source details

Wind K., Neuteboom J.H. & t'Mannetje L. (1994) Effect of extensification on yield and botanical composition of grassland on dry sandy soil. British Grassland Society Occasional Symposium, 28, 217.


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 small study from 1967 to 1993 of a grassland at the University experimental farm, Meenthoeve in the Netherlands (Wind et al. 1994) found that plant species increased for six years following extensification, but then decreased in unfertilized plots. Species increased following sowing (1966) and extensification (1971), from 19 species in 1969 to 37 in 1977. Numbers then declined to below 25 species in unfertilized plots as weeds typical of intensive grassland decreased. In 1985, a botanical change characteristic of a reduction in soil fertility occurred. Dominant species were common bent Agrostis capillaris and Yorkshire-fog Holcus lanatus in all three treatments, sweet vernal grass Anthoxantum odoratum in unfertilized treatments and red fescue Festuca rubra in the mown treatment. The 0.8 ha area of grassland had received 300 kg N/ha, phosphorous P and potassium K and grazing for five years. In 1971, it was divided into: a 0.26 ha plot with no fertilizer, sub-divided into intermittent grazing or mown for hay June and October, and a 0.56 ha plot with 20 kg/ha P2O2 and 40 kg/ha K2O per year and 5 steers/ha until 1975 followed by 3 steers/ha. Botanical composition of plots was sampled in May in ten years (1967-1993). Species were sampled by hand sorting 100 handfuls of grass/plot and taking 100 soil cores.