Impact of the occurrence of Taraxacum officinale F.H. Wigg. on floristic diversity and utilisation values of meadow-pasture communities.
The floristic composition of anthropogenic meadow communities undergoes transformations dependent on utilisation and habitat conditions. One of their consequences includes encroachment into and maintenance in the sward of some expansive plant species e.g. Taraxacum officinale. The objective of the study was to analyse the impact of the occurrence of Taraxacum officinale on the floristic diversity of meadow-pasture communities at varying levels of utilisation and habitat conditions. The effect of Taraxacum officinale presence on changes in the floristic composition of meadow communities was assessed on the basis of results of geobotanical studies carried out by Braun-Blanquet's method. The studies assumed evaluation of plant species proportions in the sward of meadow communities based on the share of Taraxacum officinale, floristic diversity and the natural value index of the sward. The highest share of analysed plant species was determined in extensively utilised meadows and pastures found on periodically dry habitats. Simultaneously, the high numbers of examined plant species exert a negative influence on the floristic diversity index and the natural value of plant communities.