A field experiment to recreate species rich hay meadows using regional seed mixtures

  • Published source details Jongepierova I., Mitchley J. & Tzanopoulos J. (2007) A field experiment to recreate species rich hay meadows using regional seed mixtures. Biological Conservation, 139, 297-305.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Sow native grass and forbs

Action Link
Grassland Conservation

Restore/create species-rich, semi-natural grassland

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Sow native grass and forbs

    A replicated, randomized, paired, controlled study in 1999–2004 in semi-dry grassland in the Czech Republic (Jongepierova et al. 2007) found that sowing grass and forb seeds increased the cover of local forb and grass species. Cover of local grass species was higher in areas where seeds were sown (29–53%) than in areas where no seeds were sown (0–2%). The same pattern was seen for local forb species (seeded: 16–32%, unseeded: 0–2%). In 1999, four blocks were established. In each block, one 55 x 20 m plot was sown with a locally sourced seed mixture containing seven grass species and 20 forb species at a rate of 2 g/m2, while one plot was not sown with seeds. In June in 2000–2004, ten 1.5 x 1.5 m quadrats were placed in each plot and all species present and their cover recorded.

    (Summarised by: Philip Martin)

  2. Restore/create species-rich, semi-natural grassland

    A replicated trial in the White Carpathians Protected Landscape Area, in the eastern Czech Republic (Jongepierova et al. 2007), found that sowing a regional seed mixture over the entire plot was the most effective treatment for establishing hay meadow vegetation. Four restoration treatments were tested, each in four 55 x 20 m plots, replicated within a single 3 ha arable field. The experimental treatments were sowing seven grasses and 20 herb species throughout the plot, or sowing 2.5 m-wide strips of just the herb species with or without a commercial grass mix. Control plots were left to naturally regenerate. In the fully sown plots, 19 of the 20 herb species, and all seven grass species had established by 2004, providing 30% and 55% cover on average. The cover of sown herb and grass species in the strip-sown or unsown treatments were less than 5% and 2-9% respectively. Plots were sown in spring 1999, and vegetation monitored in June 2002-2004. All plots were cut once in July and the hay removed, following restoration.


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