Competitive ability of Rhinanthus minor L. in relation to productivityin the Rengen Grassland Experiment
M. Hejcman, J. Schellberg, V. Pavlůhttps://doi.org/10.17221/197/2010-PSECitation:Hejcman M., Schellberg J., Pavlů V. (2011): Competitive ability of Rhinanthus minor L. in relation to productivityin the Rengen Grassland Experiment. Plant Soil Environ., 57: 45-51.
Rhinanthus minor (yellow-rattle) can be used for restoration of species-rich grasslands but is vulnerable to competitive exclusion from high total aboveground biomass production of vascular plants. We asked (1) whether there is a threshold limit for total annual aboveground biomass production of vascular plants above which R. minor cannot establish viable population in grasslands and (2) how is cover of R. minor in grassland related to standing biomass of bryophytes. Data were collected in the Rengen Grassland Experiment (RGE) established in Germany in 1941 with following fertilizer treatments: unfertilized control, application of Ca, CaN, CaNP, CaNPKCl and CaNPK2SO4. Cover of R. minor and total annual aboveground biomass production of vascular plants were determined from 2005 to 2009. Further relationship between standing biomass of bryophytes and cover of R. minor was analyzed in 2006. Mean cover of R. minor over five years ranged from 0.7% to 12.3% in CaNPK2SO4 and control treatments, respectively. Cover of R. minor was significantly negatively related to total annual aboveground biomass production of vascular plants and cover of R. minor was below 3% in all plots with total annual aboveground dry matter biomass production of vascular plants higher than 5 t/ha. Although cover of R. minor was markedly reduced in highly productive plots in the RGE, high standing biomass of bryophytes (1.8 t/ha) in low productive control was not an obstacle for establishment of its viable population. We concluded, that viable population of R. minor can be established in grasslands only if total annual aboveground dry matter biomass production of vascular plants is below 5 t/ha regardless on standing biomass of bryophytes.Keywords:
biomass production; long-term fertilizer application; plant nutrition; yellow-rattle; semi-natural grassland restoration