Study

Effects of litter removal and mowing on germination and establishment of two fen-grassland species along a productivity gradient

  • Published source details Rasran L., Vogt K. & Jensen K. (2007) Effects of litter removal and mowing on germination and establishment of two fen-grassland species along a productivity gradient. Folia Geobotanica, 42, 271-288.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Remove leaf litter before seeding/planting

Action Link
Grassland Conservation

Mow before or after seeding/planting

Action Link
Grassland Conservation
  1. Remove leaf litter before seeding/planting

    A replicated, controlled study in 2002–2004 in seven grassland sites in northern Germany (Rasran et al. 2007) found that removing leaf litter before sowing and planting had mixed effects on the number of sown ragged robin Silene flos-cuculi and marsh birdsfoot trefoil Lotus pedunculatus seedlings and the biomass of transplants. During the first year after sowing, the average number of ragged robin seedlings was higher in plots with litter removed (2–3 seedlings/plot) than in plots without litter removed (0 seedlings/plot) at two of seven sites. The same was true for marsh birdsfoot trefoil seedlings at four of seven sites (litter removed: 1–11 seedlings/plot; litter not removed: 0.1–3 seedlings/plot). After one year, the average biomass of ragged robin and marsh birdsfoot trefoil transplants was higher in plots with litter removed than without at one of seven sites and none of the sites, respectively (data not reported). There were no significant differences at any of the other sites. Two plots (1 x 2 m) within each of six blocks were established at each of seven fen-grassland sites. Two hundred ragged robin and marsh birdsfoot trefoil seeds were sown within an area (0.25 x 0.25 m) in each plot in autumn 2002. Leaf litter was removed from one plot/block prior to sowing. Four equal-sized juvenile plants of each species were transplanted to each plot in April 2003. Vegetation was monitored in each plot at the end of summer in 2003 and 2004. Biomass was sampled in August 2004.

     

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

  2. Mow before or after seeding/planting

    A replicated, controlled study in 2002–2004 in seven grassland sites in northern Germany (Rasran et al. 2007) found that mowing after sowing and planting led to an increased number of ragged robin Silene flos-cuculi and marsh birdsfoot trefoil Lotus pedunculatus seedlings and a greater biomass of transplants at less than half of the sites. After two years, the average number of sown ragged robin seedlings was higher in mown plots (2–5 seedlings/plot) than unmown plots (0–3 seedlings/plot) at two of seven sites. The same was true for marsh birdsfoot trefoil seedlings at one of seven sites (data not reported). After one year, the average biomass of ragged robin and marsh birdsfoot trefoil transplants was higher in mown than unmown plots at three of seven and two of seven sites, respectively (data not reported). There were no significant differences at the other sites. Two plots (1 x 2 m) within each of six blocks were established at each of seven fen-grassland sites. Two hundred ragged robin and marsh birdsfoot trefoil seeds were sown within an area (0.25 x 0.25 m) in each plot in autumn 2002. Four equal-sized juvenile plants of each species were transplanted to each plot in April 2003. One plot/block was mown in June 2003 and 2004, the other was left unmown. Vegetation in each plot was monitored at the end of summer in 2003 and 2004. Biomass was sampled in August 2004.

     

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

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