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Is spring burning a viable management tool for species-rich grasslands?
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology. (Conservation Ecology Group)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6128-1051
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology. (Conservation Ecology Group)
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology. (Conservation Ecology Group)
Department of Crop Production Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
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2014 (English)In: Applied Vegetation Science, ISSN 1402-2001, E-ISSN 1654-109X, Vol. 17, no 3, 429-441 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Question

The management of species-rich semi-natural grasslands, a fragmented and threatened vegetation type in Europe, involves costs. Mowing is expensive and grazing can be difficult to achieve and maintain for logistical reasons. Is annual spring burning, which is potentially cheaper than mowing and grazing, a viable management tool for species-rich grasslands?

Location

Long-term field trials in 11 grasslands in southern Sweden.

Methods

We calculated the odds for a species being an indicator of good management, an indicator of poor management, or an indicator of nitrogen influence in spring-burned plots, grazed plots and annually mowed plots. Odds ratios contrasting spring-burned plots with grazed plots and spring-burned plots with mowed plots were subjected to meta-analyses in which we compared the odds ratios after 1, 8 and 14 spring burns. For a single trial, we also analysed data after 1, 8, 14, 28 and 39 spring burns.

Results

Compared with mowed and grazed plots, the odds of the four different indicators of good management decreased in spring-burned plots, while the odds for the two indicators of poor management increased. There was no trend in the two indicators of excess nitrogen. Therefore, the conservation value of vegetation in spring-burned plots becomes reduced over time relative to traditional management.

Conclusions

Spring burning is not an appropriate long-term management method if the aim is to maintain the conservation value of the vegetation in traditionally managed semi-natural grasslands.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell, 2014. Vol. 17, no 3, 429-441 p.
Keyword [en]
Fire; Grass; Grazing; Indicators;Meta-analysis; Mowing; Odds ratio; Semi-natural grassland, Sweden
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-109111DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12091ISI: 000337725300007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-109111DiVA: diva2:736888
Available from: 2014-08-11 Created: 2014-08-11 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved

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Is spring burning a viable management tool for species-rich grasslands?(980 kB)137 downloads
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Milberg, PerBergman, Karl-OlofPaltto, Heidi

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