Invasive Species Compendium

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Secondary dry grassland management by frequent mowing in the Western-Cserhat, Hungary.

Abstract

The effect of long-term mowing on the composition of secondary dry grasslands was studied in the Western Cserhát hills in Hungary. Our main aim was to develop an effective method which can facilitate the regeneration of grasslands. Here we report the results of a long-term mowing experiment designed to suppress the spread of Calamagrostis epigeios. In May 2001 we established permanent plots in the study area to understand if the dominant grass species of abandoned grassland fields can be suppressed by mowing. It was found that mowing was a useful management technique for modifying the botanical composition of the grassland to a composition that was better suited for agricultural use, in particular for grazing which could replace the costly and time-consuming hand-cutting. Mowing twice a year significantly affected the palatability of the herbage. Plant species richness and diversity increased continuously during the eight-year-long study.