The use of compressed height to estimate the yield of a differently fertilized meadow
Monitoring of grassland dry matter yield (DMY) is important for the economy and ecosystem management, but it is a time-consuming process. Calculating the correlation between compressed height (CH) and DMY is a faster way to estimate DMY. The aim of our study was to use CH in order to predict DMY for a meadow with different fertilization management and plant species composition. Four fertilization treatments and one unfertilized control were established in a mesophilic meadow in the Czech Republic. Using a rising plate meter (RPM), CH was measured before the first and second cuts. In addition, the cover of individual vascular plant species was estimated. Significant correlations between CH and DMY were ranging from 0.41 to 0.79 for treatments without nitrogen fertilization in the first and second cuts; for treatments with nitrogen fertilization there was a significant correlation only in the second cut. According to our results, the RPM method seems to be suitable for a rough DMY estimate for meadows with coverage of about 60% grasses, 10% legumes and 30% forbs. However, considerable changes in the cover of tall forbs (e.g. Urtica dioica L.) or tall grasses (e.g. Dactylis glomerata L.) could be the main sources of DMY estimation inaccuracy.
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