2012. szeptember 19., szerda

Török et al. (2012) Ecological Engineering

Péter Török, Tamás Miglécz, Orsolya Valkó, András Kelemen, Katalin Tóth, Szabolcs Lengyel, Béla Tóthmérész (2012): Fast restoration of grassland vegetation by a combination of seed mixture sowing and low-diversity hay transfer. Ecological Engineering 44: 133-138.


Technical reclamation of grasslands is a powerful tool for conserving biodiversity in fragmented landscapes. Plant material transfer and sowing seeds of local provenance are used most frequently to recover grassland vegetation in former croplands. The joint application of these methods is rarely used, although it has the potential to gain a predictable and directed vegetation development with effective early weed suppression. We studied the effectiveness of combining low diversity seed sowing and hay-transfer in weed suppression and recovery of perennial grassland vegetation in Hortobágy Puszta, Central-Europe, by testing the following hypotheses: (i) lower weed cover and biomass is expected in vegetation recovered by the joint method of sowing and hay transfer than by seed sowing only. (ii) With sowing and additional hay transfer a higher rate of establishment of Festuca species is expected than with sowing only. Our results supported both hypotheses. We found that the additional application of hay significantly accelerated the development of perennial grassland vegetation and provided a higher weed suppression rate in the first year and onwards in most plots than seed sowing only. A higher establishment rate was detected both in the cover and the biomass of perennial grasses including Festuca species in all plots with hay addition than with sowing only. Our results suggest that a combination of hay transfer and low diversity sowing may provide a cost-effective alternative to the more costly high-density sowing and if proper sources for high-diversity hay are available, it may replace high-diversity seed mixtures.

Grassland restoration; Festuca; Biomass; Litter; Weeds; Mulch; Species richness

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