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Gewählte Publikation:

Rasran, L; Vogt, K.
(2018): Ditches as species-rich secondary habitats and refuge for meadow species in agricultural marsh grasslands
APPL VEG SCI. 2018; 21(1): 21-32. FullText FullText_BOKU

QuestionsCan drainage ditches in agricultural marsh grassland provide a suitable habitat for the persistence of fen meadow species? How does the ditch margin vegetation develop as a function of regular dredging? Is ornithologically oriented management also beneficial for plant biodiversity? LocationRiparian marshes, Eider-Treene-Sorge lowland, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. MethodsWe performed vegetation surveys of drainage ditches along with their water body, slope and margin structures annually for 3years. The data were analysed with respect to date and means of ditch dredging. In addition, we recorded vegetation of the surrounding agricultural grassland, measured nutrient status of the soil and the water body and sampled seed bank of the ditch slopes. We used ANOVA and multivariate methods to describe the development of the ditch vegetation and the persistence of target meadow species. ResultsVegetation re-development of ditch margins proceeds quite rapidly after disturbance from dredging. Dominance of mudbank species was observed only in the first year, followed by an increase of reed species and reduction of phytodiversity. Target species of wet meadow communities reach highest abundance in the second and third year and build a significant seed bank before being suppressed by reeds. ConclusionsIn heavily eutrophicated, intensively used marsh grassland, regularly disturbed ditch margins are important secondary habitats for pioneer and subdominant wetland species, which have nearly disappeared in a larger area. Current management cycles of ditch dredging every 3-4years comply with the successional development, allowing the mudbank and wet meadow species to persist in the vegetation and seed bank. In contrast to the frequency, the form of dredging (ditch profile), which is crucial for bird protection, plays a minor role for plants. We recommend moderate disturbance (mowing of ditch margins) to suppress strong competitors in the years between dredging for additional support to target plant species.
Autor/innen der BOKU Wien:
Rasran Leonid
BOKU Gendermonitor:

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
agricultural grassland
ditch dredging
mudbank species
reed species
seed bank
wet meadow species

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