Effect of N, P and K fertilization on the species succession of an established grass sward during a decade

Péter Ragályi, I. Kádár, László Szemán, Péter Csatho, P. Csontos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Effects of different soil N, P and K supply levels and their combinations were examined on the species composition of a grass sward between 2006 and 2015 in a field experiment. The grass was established in autumn of 2000 with seed mixture of eight grass species. The calcareous chernozem loamy soil of the growing site contained around 3% humus, 3–5% CaCO3, 20–22% clay in the ploughed layer and was originally moderately supplied with available N and K, and relatively poorly supplied with P and Zn. The trial included 4N×4P×4K=64 treatments in 2 replications, giving a total of 128 plots. The cover of grass species was surveyed every year at the end of May before the first cut. Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne), timothy (Phleum pratense), meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis) and red fescue (Festuca rubra) disappeared from the experiment in the first few years. Crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum) expanded through the years and required higher N and P supply to thrive. Smooth brome grass (Bromus inermis) was not a sown species, but established and expanded through the years. It benefited from N and K fertilization up to the highest supply, whereas a moderate P supply level was already satisfactory. Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) was the dominant species in the first years, but was continuously supressed. It required moderate N fertilization, since higher doses reduced the cover below the level of N control. P control treatment was the most favourable, whereas K had a slightly positive effect. The cover of cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata) also showed a decreasing trend. Moderate N supply was the most effective, whereas P and K had only a slight effect. Reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea) could not really spread, but remained present sporadically during the studied period. It preferred fertilized plots over control plots. Cover of other plant species, primarily herbs, increased continuously from 2% to 30–37% through the years mainly on control, especially on N control plots. The species composition was considerably modified by N, P and K supply of the soil.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-26
Number of pages14
JournalBotanikai Kozlemenyek
Volume105
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018

Fingerprint

sward
grass
grasses
Agropyron cristatum
Festuca pratensis
Bromus inermis
Phalaris arundinacea
Dactylis glomerata
Festuca arundinacea
Lolium perenne
Festuca rubra subsp. rubra
seed mixtures
species diversity
Festuca rubra
Phleum pratense
Chernozem
soil
loam soils
ground cover plants
calcareous soils

Keywords

  • Calcareous chernozem
  • Established grass
  • Fertilizer effects
  • Field experiment
  • Long-term succession

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science

Cite this

Effect of N, P and K fertilization on the species succession of an established grass sward during a decade. / Ragályi, Péter; Kádár, I.; Szemán, László; Csatho, Péter; Csontos, P.

In: Botanikai Kozlemenyek, Vol. 105, No. 1, 01.01.2018, p. 13-26.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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