• Calcicolous grassland;
  • Coexistence;
  • Community structure;
  • Management;
  • Management history

Abstract. A wooded meadow at Laelatu in western Estonia was found to be very rich in vascular plants. The maximum number of species found was 25 in a 10 cm x 10 cm plot, 42 in a 20 cm x 20 cm plot and 63 in a 1 m2 plot.

Species richness is related to the management history of the site. The highest richness was found in sites with the most regular long-term mowing. Species density was lower in the case of fertilization or temporary cessation of mowing.

The richest community had an LAI of 2.8 and an above-ground dry biomass of 175 g/m2. With increasing height of the herb layer the number of species decreases. Small disturbances cause a remarkable decrease in species density.