A field experiment to recreate species rich hay meadows using regional seed mixtures
Jongepierova, I., Mitchley, J. and Tzanopoulos, J. (2007) A field experiment to recreate species rich hay meadows using regional seed mixtures. Biological Conservation, 139 (3-4). pp. 297-305. ISSN 0006-3207
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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2007.07.026
Species rich semi-natural grasslands are an important but threatened habitat throughout Europe and much of the former area has been lost since the 1950s. However, in some countries large areas have been preserved and the demand for meadow recreation by sowing seed mixtures is increasing. In the White Carpathians Protected Landscape Area (Czech Republic) the use of commercial seed mixtures is undesirable and the use of regional mixtures has been investigated. The costs for seeding large areas are high and lower cost techniques are needed. In 1999 a field experiment was set up to investigate the establishment of hay meadow vegetation comparing sowing a regional mixture all over a plot with sowing narrow 2.5 In strips of regional seed mixtures into a matrix of a commercial grass mixture or into natural regeneration. The results after five seasons showed good establishment of the sown species in the meadow treatment. Spread of sown species from the sown strips into the surrounding matrix occurred but the cover of species was lower in the commercial grass matrix compared with the natural regeneration matrix. Colonisation of some plots by unsown desirable grassland species from adjacent grassland habitats also occurred, but more species colonised the natural regeneration matrix than the commercial grasses or the sown meadow matrix itself. Overall, the results indicate that, in appropriate situations, sown strips can provide a lower cost but slower and longer-term alternative to field scale sowing of regional seed mixtures for recreation of hay meadow vegetation. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.