Mountain grassland biodiversity: impact of site conditions versus management type

  • Published source details Kampmann D., Herzog F., Jeanneret P., Konold W., Peter M., Walter T., Wildi O. & Lüscher A. (2008) Mountain grassland biodiversity: impact of site conditions versus management type. Journal for Nature Conservation, 16, 12-25.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Maintain species-rich, semi-natural grassland

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Maintain species-rich, semi-natural grassland

    A site comparison study in Switzerland (Kampmann et al. 2008) found that nine alpine meadows managed under the Ecological Compensation Areas agri-environment scheme for at least five years had more plant species (around 37 species/meadow on average) than nine conventionally managed meadows (around 27 species/meadow), but not more grasshopper (Orthoptera) species (3-3.5 grasshopper species/meadow on average). Conventionally managed meadows were cut two to six times annually, with 20-30 kg N/ha added after each cut as liquid or solid manure. Ecological Compensation Area meadows were first cut in July and had a maximum of 30 kg N/ha applied annually as solid manure. Sites in the study were randomly selected from target regions in the northern and east central Alps. Ecological Compensation Area sites were in higher, more remote locations and had steeper slopes than conventionally managed meadows. Since 79% of sites in the study had been managed in exactly the same way for 10 years, the results show that the Ecological Compensation Areas scheme can maintain higher plant species richness in alpine meadows.


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