Large-Scale Restoration of Dry Grasslands on Ex-Arable Land Using a Regional Seed Mixture: Establishment of Target Species

Authors

  • Karel Prach,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Dukelská 135, CZ-379 82 Třeboň, Czech Republic
    • Faculty of Science USB, Branišovská 31, CZ-370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic
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  • Ivana Jongepierová,

    1. Administration of the White Carpathians Protected Landscape Area, 698 01 Veselí nad Moravou, Czech Republic
    2. Czech Union for Nature Conservation, Local Chapter “Bílé Karpaty,” 698 01 Veselí nad Moravou, Czech Republic
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  • Klára Řehounková

    1. Faculty of Science USB, Branišovská 31, CZ-370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic
    2. Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Dukelská 135, CZ-379 82 Třeboň, Czech Republic
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K. Prach, email prach@bf.jcu.cz

Abstract

Large-scale (circa 500 ha) restoration of species-rich dry grasslands was conducted using a high-diversity regional seed mixture in the White Carpathians Protected Landscape Area and Biosphere Reserve, Czech Republic, Central Europe. After sowing, the restored grasslands were regularly mown. Vegetation was analyzed at sites restored 1–12 years ago and compared with that of ancient, extremely species-rich grasslands nearby. Nearly all (98%) sown target species successfully established and nearly half of unsown target species established spontaneously, partly dependent on distance to the ancient grasslands. Early mowing in the first half of June appeared to support species diversity and broad-leaved forbs at the expense of competitive grasses. Using a regional seed mixture appeared to be an effective way of restoring dry grasslands and is especially recommended in the proximity of still existing ancient grasslands where spontaneous establishment of unsown target species may reinforce the success of restoration more easily.

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