|Title||Long-term vegetation dynamics after sod removal in a Central European dry heathland (Podyjí National Park)|
|Author(s)||Keizer-Sedlakova, I.; Li, Ching-Feng; Zeleny, David|
|Event||58th IAVS Symposium, Brno, Czech Republic,, Brno, 2015-07-19/2015-07-24|
|Department(s)||Alterra - Vegetation, forest and landscape ecology|
|Publication type||Abstract in scientific journal or proceedings|
|Abstract||Heathlands in the southern Czech Republic (Euphorbio cyparissiae-Callunetum vulgaris Schubert 1960) on ranker soil type are characterised by a high species diversity of vascular plants with many rare and endangered species. However, invasion of grasses causes losses in biodiversity.
In this study, we focus on long-term effects of small scale sod-cutting as a management measure, using observations of species composition changes in permanent plots for 22 years after the experimental treatment. The study site is located in the Podyjí National Park, 3 km SE of the town of Znojmo, in the southern part of Moravia (Czech Republic) at 48º49´N, 16º01´E.
Our data consist of three permanent plots (4 × 4 m, subdivided into 0.25 × 0.25 m subplots). In two plots the vegetation was removed by sod-cutting during the experimental treatment in 1992 and one control plot was not treated. After the treatment, the plots were continuously revisited every year for 22 years, and changes in species composition in each subplot were recorded.
During 22 years the recovery of the vegetation was recorded in all subplots; species trends were expressed as changes in percentage frequencies. In the first year some recovery of plants from root remains and germination of species of disturbed soil was observed. In the following years species characteristic of species-rich grassland communities as well as heathland species appeared. After 22 years, the frequency of chamaephytes such as Calluna vulgaris and Genista
pilosa and some lichen species have increased. We also studied the changes in small-scale beta diversity between subplots within each plot during the course of succession. The beta diversity sharply increased after the treatment and decreased back to the level of control plot after approximately six years. The data suggest that succession to heathland proceeds slowly in this environment. We conclude that small-scale sod-cutting is the most successful method for maintaining species diversity in this area. The reason seems to be that in patches with small-scale soil disturbances seeds from nearby vegetation can easily invade and germinate.