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Effect of cutting frequency on species richness and dry matter yield of permanent grassland after grazing cessation

Author:
Stybnarova, Marie, Hakl, Josef, Bilosova, Hana, Micova, Pavlína, Latal, Oldrich, Pozdisek, Jan
Source:
Archiv für Acker- und Pflanzenbau und Bodenkunde 2016 v.62 no.8 pp. 1182-1193
ISSN:
1476-3567
Subject:
botanical composition, cutting, dry matter accumulation, forage grasses, forage yield, grasslands, grazing, Czech Republic
Abstract:
The effect of grazing cessation management has only rarely been investigated. In this study, the influence of cutting regime in the absence of fertilization was examined during 2005–2011 on a semi-natural grassland in Rapotin (Czech Republic) which had been grazed for more than 30 years before the start of the trial. This was conducted as a randomized plot design with five levels of treatment: 4 C – intensive (four cuts per year); 3 C – medium intensive (three cuts per year); 2 C – low intensive (two cuts per year); 1 C – extensive (one cut per year); 0 C – abandoned (control; without any management). Species richness was significantly lower in treatments 1 C and 0 C than in other treatments. Management and year had similar and significant influence on species composition and explained 23% of its variability. Dry matter (DM) yields were found to be lower in three-cut than in two-cut treatments (5.56 t ha ⁻¹ and 6.22 t ha ⁻¹, respectively). In the case of grazing cessation, a suitable compromise of three cuts per year can be recommended to guarantee maintenance of species richness, botanical composition, and appropriate grass forage yield under similar site conditions.
Agid:
5241842