Species enrichment in an agriculturally improved grassland and its effects on botanical composition, yield and forage quality

  • Published source details Hofmann M. & Isselstein J. (2005) Species enrichment in an agriculturally improved grassland and its effects on botanical composition, yield and forage quality. Grass and Forage Science, 60, 136-145.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Mow before or after seeding/planting

Action Link
Grassland Conservation
  1. Mow before or after seeding/planting

    A replicated, randomized, paired, controlled study in 1998­–1999 in a species-poor grassland near Göttingen, Germany (Hofmann & Isselstein 2005; same study site as Hofmann & Isselstein 2004) found that mowing more frequently after sowing seeds increased the abundance of five of seven sown forb species. After 12 months, five of seven sown forb species were more abundant in areas that were mown once/week than areas mown once every nine weeks: autumn hawkbit Leontodon autumnalis (16–36 vs 4–6 plants/m2 respectively), ribwort plantain Plantago lanceolata (4–19 vs 1 plant/m2), goatsbeard Tragopogon pratensis (8–19 vs 3–7 plants/m2), common bird's-foot trefoil Lotus corniculatus (4–9 vs 1–4 plants/m2), red clover Trifolium pratense (3–11 vs 0–4 plants/m2). For the two other species, there was no significant difference in the number of plants in areas mown once/week or once every nine weeks: wild carrot Daucus carota (5–8 vs 4–8 plants/m2), brown knapweed Centaurea jacea (13–30 vs 8–16 plants/m2). In July 1998, eight 2 x 2 m plots were sown with seeds of seven local grassland forb species. In 1998 and 1999, four of the plots were mown once/week, and four plots were mown once every nine weeks. In July 1999, the number of plants of each species was counted in each plot.

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

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