How can We Effectively Restore Species Richness and Natural Composition of a Molinia- invaded Fen?

Ha_jkova_, P., M. Ha_jek and K. Kintrova_

Publication Date:

Calcareous fens are among the most threatened and declining ecosystems throughout Europe and act as refugia for many endangered species. Traditionally, calcareous fens were mown but many of them have been abandoned and invaded by Molinia. This has led to changes in species composition, heavy loss in species diversity and a decrease in bryophyte cover. Fen restoration is complicated by an effective nutrient uptake and utilization of Molinia. Experimental tests of the effects of litter removal and different mowing regimes on restoration success are needed together with studies that compare the responses of different taxonomical groups. Molinia- invaded fen vegetation can be restored through intensive mowing. We recommend twice-a- year mowing instead of traditional late annual mowing as an initial restoration measure. Since the effect of the standing Molinia crop in our long-abandoned fen turned out to be more detrimental to other plants than accumulated litter, we do not recommend any management that is based on litter removal rather than mowing.

Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed Article

Journal of Applied Ecology