Effects of simulated grazing on open perennial sand grassland

Gabor Ónodi, M. Kertész, Z. Botta-Dukát

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We studied biomass and species composition changes of open perennial sand grassland (Festucetum vaginatae) as response to different levels of simulated grazing pressures. We conducted a factorial micro-plot field experiment on previously grazed grassland that has been abandoned for a long time. In a two-way factorial design of 12 treatments x 8 repeats, we performed clipping (twice a year for three years) and litter treatments (removing and adding litter once at the beginning of the experiment) to simulate components of grazing, namely the biomass removal and the reduction of the litter accumulation. We used field spectroscopy and visual canopy cover estimation to measure the effects on the amount of the above-ground green biomass and on the vegetation composition. Litter treatments affected vegetation composition slightly during the experiment. We found that clipping decreases the canopy cover of Festuca vaginata. However, compensation occurred in case of the above-ground biomass of the matrix species due to moderate clipping. Both moderate and heavy clipping increased the number of species in the plots. Heavy clipping had a strong negative effect on the biomass and canopy cover of Festuca vaginata, and in contrast with moderate clipping it changed the gap structure of the community. It increased the size of the gaps and the abundance of the gap species as well. Our results show that moderate grazing pressure has favourable effect on the open perennial sand grassland community in terms of species density while it does not cause degradation of the matrix species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-141
Number of pages9
JournalCommunity Ecology
Volume7
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006

Fingerprint

clipping
Biomass
grazing
grasslands
grassland
sand
Festuca
biomass
litter
canopy
grazing pressure
vegetation
Pressure
aboveground biomass
spectroscopy
Visual Fields
matrix
community structure
Spectrum Analysis
species diversity

Keywords

  • Clipping
  • Compensatory growth
  • Festucetum vaginatae
  • Field spectroscopy
  • Litter effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Effects of simulated grazing on open perennial sand grassland. / Ónodi, Gabor; Kertész, M.; Botta-Dukát, Z.

In: Community Ecology, Vol. 7, No. 2, 12.2006, p. 133-141.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ónodi, Gabor ; Kertész, M. ; Botta-Dukát, Z. / Effects of simulated grazing on open perennial sand grassland. In: Community Ecology. 2006 ; Vol. 7, No. 2. pp. 133-141.
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