Ecology and Conservation of Steppes and Semi-Natural Grasslands


  • Orsolya Valkó MTA-DE Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Research Group, Egyetem sqr. 1, 4032, Debrecen
  • Michal Zmihorski Institute of Nature Conservation, Polish Academy of Sciences, Mickiewicza 33, 31-120 Kraków
  • Idoia Biurrun Department of Plant Biology and Ecology, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, Apdo. 644. 48080 Bilbao
  • Jacqueline Loos Agroecology, Department of Crop Science, Georg-August University. Grisebachstrasse 6, 37077 Göttingen
  • Rocco Labadessa Department of Agro-Environmental and Territorial Sciences, University of Bari, Via Orabona 4, 70125 Bari
  • Stephen Venn Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 65 (Viikinkaari 2a), 00014 7 Department of Biosciences, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 65 (Viikinkaari 1), 00014


abandonment, diversity, extensive agriculture, grasslands, homogenization, intensive agriculture, land-use change


Palaearctic grasslands encompass a diverse variety of habitats, many of high nature value and vulnerability. The main challenges are climate-change, land-use change, agricultural intensification and abandonment. Many measures are in place to address these challenges, through restoration and appropriate management, though more work is necessary. We present eight studies from China/Germany, Greece, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine. The papers cover a wide range of grassland and steppe habitats and cover vegetation ecology, syntaxonomy and zoology. We also conducted a systematic search on steppe and grassland diversity. The greatest number of studies was from China, followed by Germany and England. We conclude that the amount of research being carried out on Eurasian grasslands is inadequate considering their high levels of biodiversity and vulnerability. We hope to encourage readers to address current major challenges, such as how to manage grasslands for the benefit of diverse taxa, to ensure that conservation initiatives concentrate on sites where there is good potential for success and for the generation of realistic and viable conservation strategies.


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How to Cite

Valkó, O., Zmihorski, M., Biurrun, I., Loos, J., Labadessa, R., & Venn, S. (2016). Ecology and Conservation of Steppes and Semi-Natural Grasslands. Hacquetia, 15(2). Retrieved from




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