Sustaining recovered grasslands is not likely without proper management: Vegetation changes after cessation of mowing

András Kelemen, Péter Török, Orsolya Valkó, Balázs Deák, Tamás Miglécz, Katalin Tóth, Tamás Ölvedi, B. Tóthmérész

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Grasslands recovered by sowing low diversity seed mixtures of local provenance are usually managed by mowing. Besides restoration success only a few studies have focused on the direct effects of post-restoration mowing on recovered grassland vegetation. In this study we followed vegetation changes in 13 successfully recovered grasslands in 5 × 5-m-sized sites with continuous and ceased mowing at Hortobágy National Park, East-Hungary. We asked the following questions: (i) What are the effects of cessation of mowing on the vegetation structure and diversity of recovered grasslands? (ii) What are the effects of cessation of mowing on the abundance of sown grasses, target and undesirable species? (iii) Is yearly mowing an appropriate management tool for the maintenance of recovered grasslands? Our results showed that the cessation of mowing caused litter accumulation, while diversity, total vegetation cover and the cover of sown grasses decreased compared to the mown sites. The cover of undesirable perennial species was significantly higher in unmown sites than in mown ones. The species composition of mown sites remained more similar to near-natural grasslands than the unmown ones. Our results suggest that without regular post-restoration mowing the favourable status of recovered grasslands can rapidly decline due to litter accumulation and by the expansion of undesirable species, even in the short-run. We also stress that while yearly mowing is enough to maintain grasslands recovered by low-diversity seed sowing, it cannot be considered to be enough to recover target vegetation composition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)741-751
Number of pages11
JournalBiodiversity and Conservation
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

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mowing
grasslands
grassland
vegetation
sowing
litter
grass
grasses
seed
seed mixtures
vegetation structure
vegetation cover
Hungary
provenance
national parks
national park
species diversity

Keywords

  • Abandonment
  • Biodiversity
  • Cirsium arvense
  • Grassland restoration
  • Post-restoration management
  • Seed sowing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Cite this

Sustaining recovered grasslands is not likely without proper management : Vegetation changes after cessation of mowing. / Kelemen, András; Török, Péter; Valkó, Orsolya; Deák, Balázs; Miglécz, Tamás; Tóth, Katalin; Ölvedi, Tamás; Tóthmérész, B.

In: Biodiversity and Conservation, Vol. 23, No. 3, 03.2014, p. 741-751.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kelemen, András ; Török, Péter ; Valkó, Orsolya ; Deák, Balázs ; Miglécz, Tamás ; Tóth, Katalin ; Ölvedi, Tamás ; Tóthmérész, B. / Sustaining recovered grasslands is not likely without proper management : Vegetation changes after cessation of mowing. In: Biodiversity and Conservation. 2014 ; Vol. 23, No. 3. pp. 741-751.
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AU - Ölvedi, Tamás

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