Study

High-diversity sowing in establishment gaps: A promising new tool for enhancing grassland biodiversity

  • Published source details Valkó O., Deák B., Török P., Kirmer A., Tischew S., Kelemen A., Tóth K., Miglécz T., Radócz S. & Sonkoly J. (2016) Ansaat artenreicher Samenmischungen in künstliche Störstellen: Eine vielversprechende Methode zur Erhöhung der Diversität im artenarmen Grünland. Tuexenia, 36, 359-378.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Sow seeds in prepared gaps within vegetation

Action Link
Grassland Conservation

Graze with livestock after seeding/planting

Action Link
Grassland Conservation
  1. Sow seeds in prepared gaps within vegetation

    A replicated study in 2013–2015 in eight species-poor grassland sites in east Hungary (Valkó et al. 2016) found that sowing seeds in large gaps created in grassland led to a greater cover of sown target plant species than sowing in smaller gaps but the cover of weeds was similar. During the first two years after sowing, the average cover of target plant species was higher when seeds were sown in large gaps (4 x 4 m: 52–59%) than in smaller gaps (1 x 1 m: 27–31%; 2 x 2 m: 16–39%). The cover of weed species did not differ significantly between the three gap sizes (1 x 1 m: 19–26%; 2 x 2 m: 16–29%; 4 x 4 m: 19%). In October 2013, gaps of three sizes (1 x 1 m, 2 x 2 m, 4 x 4 m) were created >50 m apart within existing grassland at each of eight sites. All sites were former arable fields sown with a low diversity grass seed mix in October 2005. Gaps were prepared by digging, rotary hoeing and raking the soil. All gaps were sown with a seed mixture of 35 native grassland species at a rate of 10 g/m2 and grazed by cattle in April–October each year. Vegetation cover was recorded in each of the 24 gaps in June 2014 and 2015.

     

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

  2. Graze with livestock after seeding/planting

    A replicated, controlled study in 2013–2015 at eight species-poor grassland sites in east Hungary (Valkó et al. 2016) found that grazing with livestock after sowing seeds did not alter the cover of target plants or weeds compared to not grazing after sowing. During the first two years after sowing, there was no significant difference in the average cover of sown target plant species or weed species between plots that were grazed by cattle (target species: 52–59%; weed species: 23–31%) and plots left ungrazed (target species: 51–66%; weed species: 19%). In October 2013, two 4 x 4 m plots located >50 m apart were established in each of eight sites. All plots were prepared (by digging, rotary hoeing and raking the soil) and sown with a seed mixture of 35 native grassland species at a rate of 10 g/m2. One plot/site was grazed by cattle (0.5 livestock units/ha) in April–October each year, the other was fenced and left ungrazed. Vegetation cover was recorded in each of the 16 plots in June 2014 and 2015.

     

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

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