“Everyone does it a bit differently!”: Evidence for a positive relationship between micro-scale land-use diversity and plant diversity in hay meadows

Róbert Kun, S. Bartha, Ákos Malatinszky, Zsolt Molnár, Attila Lengyel, Dániel Babai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

High nature-value grasslands including mountain hay meadows are among the most species-rich habitats in Europe. Mountain hay meadows were developed and maintained by traditional, small-scale management systems having high micro-scale land-use diversity (MSLUD), i.e. the parcel-scale diversity of management elements which usually depend on individual decisions and family traditions of local farmers. Detailed studies documenting the effects of micro-scale land-use diversity on vegetation are absent. The main objectives of our study were to analyse the effect of micro-scale land-use diversity and evenness on local plant diversity and cover of the main plant functional types. Field work was carried out in the Gyimes region (Eastern Carpathians, Romania). We conducted semi-structured interviews with the owners and managers of the studied meadow parcels in order to reveal the number of applied management elements (Nm) and applied frequencies of these management elements (e.g. manuring, mowing, seed sowing and weed control) per parcel and to determine the three differently used hay meadow types from interviews. For quantifying MSLUD, the Shannon diversity formula was used, in the case of micro-scale land-use evenness (MSLUE), the original Pielou's evenness formula was applied. To document parcel-scale vegetation features, 4 × 4-meter quadrats were surveyed in every parcel. We found significant differences in the Nm, MSLUD and MSLUE among the three management types. In models where MSLUD, MSLUE and Nm were built in, we got better model fits and more parsimonious models than in cases where just management type was built into the models. Management elements (e.g. manuring, seed sowing) also had a significant effect on vegetation. Our results highlight that micro-scale land-use diversity plays a significant role in the maintenance of plant diversity in traditional, small-scale farming systems. The main drivers behind the high micro-scale land-use diversity may be farmers’ personal decisions and family traditions. We argue that for an adequate ecological understanding and conservation of these traditional, small-scale land-use systems, the development of adequate ways of evaluation as well as detailed studies of the effects of several different management elements and land-use diversity on vegetation are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106556
JournalAgriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
Volume283
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2019

Fingerprint

hay
meadow
meadows
land use
vegetation
sowing
interviews
mountains
farmers
seed
small-scale farming
mountain
mowing
weed control
Romania
farming system
fieldwork
management systems
managers
farming systems

Keywords

  • Conservation
  • East-Central Europe
  • Mountain hay meadows
  • Shannon-diversity
  • Traditional management system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science

Cite this

“Everyone does it a bit differently!” : Evidence for a positive relationship between micro-scale land-use diversity and plant diversity in hay meadows. / Kun, Róbert; Bartha, S.; Malatinszky, Ákos; Molnár, Zsolt; Lengyel, Attila; Babai, Dániel.

In: Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, Vol. 283, 106556, 01.11.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{b4dfb54caaeb4dc4bc014db5c6a49c4a,
title = "“Everyone does it a bit differently!”: Evidence for a positive relationship between micro-scale land-use diversity and plant diversity in hay meadows",
abstract = "High nature-value grasslands including mountain hay meadows are among the most species-rich habitats in Europe. Mountain hay meadows were developed and maintained by traditional, small-scale management systems having high micro-scale land-use diversity (MSLUD), i.e. the parcel-scale diversity of management elements which usually depend on individual decisions and family traditions of local farmers. Detailed studies documenting the effects of micro-scale land-use diversity on vegetation are absent. The main objectives of our study were to analyse the effect of micro-scale land-use diversity and evenness on local plant diversity and cover of the main plant functional types. Field work was carried out in the Gyimes region (Eastern Carpathians, Romania). We conducted semi-structured interviews with the owners and managers of the studied meadow parcels in order to reveal the number of applied management elements (Nm) and applied frequencies of these management elements (e.g. manuring, mowing, seed sowing and weed control) per parcel and to determine the three differently used hay meadow types from interviews. For quantifying MSLUD, the Shannon diversity formula was used, in the case of micro-scale land-use evenness (MSLUE), the original Pielou's evenness formula was applied. To document parcel-scale vegetation features, 4 × 4-meter quadrats were surveyed in every parcel. We found significant differences in the Nm, MSLUD and MSLUE among the three management types. In models where MSLUD, MSLUE and Nm were built in, we got better model fits and more parsimonious models than in cases where just management type was built into the models. Management elements (e.g. manuring, seed sowing) also had a significant effect on vegetation. Our results highlight that micro-scale land-use diversity plays a significant role in the maintenance of plant diversity in traditional, small-scale farming systems. The main drivers behind the high micro-scale land-use diversity may be farmers’ personal decisions and family traditions. We argue that for an adequate ecological understanding and conservation of these traditional, small-scale land-use systems, the development of adequate ways of evaluation as well as detailed studies of the effects of several different management elements and land-use diversity on vegetation are needed.",
keywords = "Conservation, East-Central Europe, Mountain hay meadows, Shannon-diversity, Traditional management system",
author = "R{\'o}bert Kun and S. Bartha and {\'A}kos Malatinszky and Zsolt Moln{\'a}r and Attila Lengyel and D{\'a}niel Babai",
year = "2019",
month = "11",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.agee.2019.05.015",
language = "English",
volume = "283",
journal = "Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment",
issn = "0167-8809",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - “Everyone does it a bit differently!”

T2 - Evidence for a positive relationship between micro-scale land-use diversity and plant diversity in hay meadows

AU - Kun, Róbert

AU - Bartha, S.

AU - Malatinszky, Ákos

AU - Molnár, Zsolt

AU - Lengyel, Attila

AU - Babai, Dániel

PY - 2019/11/1

Y1 - 2019/11/1

N2 - High nature-value grasslands including mountain hay meadows are among the most species-rich habitats in Europe. Mountain hay meadows were developed and maintained by traditional, small-scale management systems having high micro-scale land-use diversity (MSLUD), i.e. the parcel-scale diversity of management elements which usually depend on individual decisions and family traditions of local farmers. Detailed studies documenting the effects of micro-scale land-use diversity on vegetation are absent. The main objectives of our study were to analyse the effect of micro-scale land-use diversity and evenness on local plant diversity and cover of the main plant functional types. Field work was carried out in the Gyimes region (Eastern Carpathians, Romania). We conducted semi-structured interviews with the owners and managers of the studied meadow parcels in order to reveal the number of applied management elements (Nm) and applied frequencies of these management elements (e.g. manuring, mowing, seed sowing and weed control) per parcel and to determine the three differently used hay meadow types from interviews. For quantifying MSLUD, the Shannon diversity formula was used, in the case of micro-scale land-use evenness (MSLUE), the original Pielou's evenness formula was applied. To document parcel-scale vegetation features, 4 × 4-meter quadrats were surveyed in every parcel. We found significant differences in the Nm, MSLUD and MSLUE among the three management types. In models where MSLUD, MSLUE and Nm were built in, we got better model fits and more parsimonious models than in cases where just management type was built into the models. Management elements (e.g. manuring, seed sowing) also had a significant effect on vegetation. Our results highlight that micro-scale land-use diversity plays a significant role in the maintenance of plant diversity in traditional, small-scale farming systems. The main drivers behind the high micro-scale land-use diversity may be farmers’ personal decisions and family traditions. We argue that for an adequate ecological understanding and conservation of these traditional, small-scale land-use systems, the development of adequate ways of evaluation as well as detailed studies of the effects of several different management elements and land-use diversity on vegetation are needed.

AB - High nature-value grasslands including mountain hay meadows are among the most species-rich habitats in Europe. Mountain hay meadows were developed and maintained by traditional, small-scale management systems having high micro-scale land-use diversity (MSLUD), i.e. the parcel-scale diversity of management elements which usually depend on individual decisions and family traditions of local farmers. Detailed studies documenting the effects of micro-scale land-use diversity on vegetation are absent. The main objectives of our study were to analyse the effect of micro-scale land-use diversity and evenness on local plant diversity and cover of the main plant functional types. Field work was carried out in the Gyimes region (Eastern Carpathians, Romania). We conducted semi-structured interviews with the owners and managers of the studied meadow parcels in order to reveal the number of applied management elements (Nm) and applied frequencies of these management elements (e.g. manuring, mowing, seed sowing and weed control) per parcel and to determine the three differently used hay meadow types from interviews. For quantifying MSLUD, the Shannon diversity formula was used, in the case of micro-scale land-use evenness (MSLUE), the original Pielou's evenness formula was applied. To document parcel-scale vegetation features, 4 × 4-meter quadrats were surveyed in every parcel. We found significant differences in the Nm, MSLUD and MSLUE among the three management types. In models where MSLUD, MSLUE and Nm were built in, we got better model fits and more parsimonious models than in cases where just management type was built into the models. Management elements (e.g. manuring, seed sowing) also had a significant effect on vegetation. Our results highlight that micro-scale land-use diversity plays a significant role in the maintenance of plant diversity in traditional, small-scale farming systems. The main drivers behind the high micro-scale land-use diversity may be farmers’ personal decisions and family traditions. We argue that for an adequate ecological understanding and conservation of these traditional, small-scale land-use systems, the development of adequate ways of evaluation as well as detailed studies of the effects of several different management elements and land-use diversity on vegetation are needed.

KW - Conservation

KW - East-Central Europe

KW - Mountain hay meadows

KW - Shannon-diversity

KW - Traditional management system

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85068149782&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85068149782&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.agee.2019.05.015

DO - 10.1016/j.agee.2019.05.015

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85068149782

VL - 283

JO - Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment

JF - Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment

SN - 0167-8809

M1 - 106556

ER -