Vascular plants were recorded in a long-term (28-year) experiment on semi-natural grassland vegetation comparing six treatments: continued grazing, mowing every year, mowing every third year, annual spring burning, removal of woody plants, and untreated control. The treatments had created very different vegetation types: the annually mown and grazed plots had the highest species number while the untreated plots had the lowest. The species' ordination scores correlated with Ellenberg indicator values for nutrient status and light: species indicating poor nutrient conditions were mainly in grazed and mown plots, and shade-tolerant species were mainly in untreated and grazed plots. The original aim of this experiment was to evaluate alternative ways of maintaining semi-natural grassland vegetation, but there were no satisfactory long-term alternatives to annual mowing or grazing. An ordination contrasted annual mowing and grazing, ranking species from those associated with mowed plots (e.g. Leucanthemum vulgare, Luzula pilosa, Campanula persicifolia, Ajuga pyramidalis) to those associated with grazed plots (e.g. Ranunculus spp., Geum spp., Vicia sepium).
2002. Vol. 39, no 2, 159-166 p.