Effects of restoration with cattle grazing on plant species composition and richness of semi-natural grasslands

  • Published source details Pykälä J. (2003) Effects of restoration with cattle grazing on plant species composition and richness of semi-natural grasslands. Biodiversity and Conservation, 12, 2211-2226.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Restore/create species-rich, semi-natural grassland

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Restore/create species-rich, semi-natural grassland

    A replicated site comparison study in 1999 and 2000 in southwest Finland (Pykala 2003) (the same study as (Poyry et al. 2004, Poyry et al. 2005, Pykala 2005)) found that resuming grazing on abandoned species-rich grasslands began to enhance the number of plant species after around five years. The number of plant species was higher on restored pastures with resumed grazing than on old abandoned pastures (for example, 16.4 species/m2 on average, compared to 11.2 species/m2) but the difference was not statistically significant at any scale. Old grazed pastures had significantly more plant species than restored or abandoned pastures at the 1 m2 scale, and significantly more species than abandoned pastures but not significantly more than restored pastures at the whole site scale (0.25-0.8 ha). However, the number of rare native plant species had not increased in response to resumed grazing. Plants were monitored in 1999 or 2000 on 11 old grazed pastures, 12 abandoned pastures (no grazing for more than 10 years) and 10 restored pastures abandoned for more than 10 years with grazing re-started three to eight years (average five years) before the study.


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