Restoration of flooded meadows in Estonia – vegetation changes and management indicators

  • Published source details Metsoja J., Neuenkamp L., Pihu S., Vellak K., Kalwij J.M. & Zobel M. (2012) Restoration of flooded meadows in Estonia – vegetation changes and management indicators. Applied Vegetation Science, 15, 231-244.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Cut/mow herbaceous plants to maintain or restore disturbance: freshwater marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Cut/mow herbaceous plants to maintain or restore disturbance: freshwater marshes

    A replicated, paired, controlled, before-and-after study in 2000–2010 of three wet meadows in Estonia (Metsoja et al. 2012) found that annual mowing typically affected the overall plant community composition, but had no significant effect on plant richness or diversity. In three of five cases, mown plots had a significantly different overall plant community composition to unmown plots after 5–10 years, despite having a similar community composition before mowing began (data reported as graphical analyses). In ≥5 of 7 comparisons, mown and unmown plots had statistically similar plant species richness (mown: 2.1-7.0; unmown: 2.0-6.0 species/m2) and diversity (data reported as a diversity index). Before intervention, plots destined for each treatment had statistically similar richness and diversity in seven of seven comparisons. Mowing also had no clear effect on the proportion of grass-like plants in five of seven comparisons (similar change or lack of change over time in mown and unmown plots; see original paper for data). Methods: The study used three floodplain wet meadows that had been abandoned since the mid-1980s. From 2000 (two meadows) or 2005 (one meadow), parts of each meadow were mown each summer. Cuttings were typically not removed. Other parts were left unmown. Vascular plants were surveyed in the summer before mowing (2000) and after 5–10 years of mowing (2010), in 1-m2 quadrats in 2–3 plant community types/meadow.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

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