Conservation effects on the botanical composition of grass swards in the hilly soils of West Lithuania

https://doi.org/10.17221/3566-PSECitation:Zableckienė D., Butkutė B. (2005): Conservation effects on the botanical composition of grass swards in the hilly soils of West Lithuania. Plant Soil Environ., 51: 137-143.
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Four conservation methods were compared on grassland unused for 30 years: 1. control (unused grassland); 2. one cut, herbage mass was spread for mulch; 3. one cut, herbage mass was removed; 4. two cuts, herbage mass were removed. Experiments were carried out during 1996–2000 at the Kaltinenai Research Station of the Lithuanian Institute of Agriculture in a hilly region of the Zemaiciai Uplands of West Lithuania, on a hilltop and hill slope. During the experimental period an increase in the number of shoots of each botanical group (grasses, legumes and forbs) were identified in all treatments. The highest increase in the total number of grass shoots was characteristic of the controlled treatment on both parts of the hill. At the end of the conservation period, 38 herb species were identified in the trial. Treatments 1 and 2 were richer in floristic diversity (27–33 species) compared with treatments 3 and 4 (20–25 species). The treatments on the hill slope had a more diverse species composition than those on the hilltop. During the grassland conservation period the content of legumes in the herbage mass increased from 0 to 27.7% in the swards where cut herbage was removed.
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