Effects of cattle slurry application on plant species composition of moderately moist Arrhenatherion grassland

https://doi.org/10.17221/62/2013-PSECitation:Duffková R., Libichová H. (2013): Effects of cattle slurry application on plant species composition of moderately moist Arrhenatherion grassland. Plant Soil Environ., 59: 485-491.
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Cattle slurry is frequently used fertilizer on grasslands, but little is known about its effect on plant species composition. The aim of this study was therefore to assess effect of different application rates of cattle slurry (S0 – 0, S1 – 60, S2 – 120, S3 – 180, S4 – 240 kg N/ha/year) on the plant species composition of three-cut grassland. The study was performed over 6 years on moderately moist upland Arrhenatherion grassland in the Czech Republic dominated by Alopecurus pratensis, Trisetum flavescens, and Poa spp. Species composition recorded in treatments with application of cattle slurry in rate up to 120 kg N/ha/year was similar to the unfertilized control. During first three years, species richness was similar in all treatments and then decreased the most in S4 followed by S3 treatment. Cover of short forbs increased in S0 and decreased with an increase in slurry application rate which supported tall grasses. Application of cattle slurry up to 120 kg N/ha/year can be considered as suitable compromise between maintenance of species rich grasslands and requirements of farmers for sufficient forage production.
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