An example of fast old field succession in a traditionally managed rural landscape on the Slovenian Karst

  • Andraž Čarni Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Institute of Biology, Novi trg 2, SI-1001 Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Zita Zimmermann Centre for Ecological Research, GINOP Sustainable Ecosystems Group, H-8237 Tihany, Klebelsberg str. 3., H-8237 Hungary
  • Nina Juvan Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Anton Melik Geographical Institute, Novi trg 2, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Andrej Paušič University of Maribor, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Pivola 10, SI-2311 Hoče, Slovenia
  • Gábor Szabó Centre for Ecological Research, Institute of Ecology and Botany, Alkotmány str. 2-4., H-2163 Vácrátót, Hungary
  • Sándor Bartha Centre for Ecological Research, GINOP Sustainable Ecosystems Group, H-8237 Tihany, Klebelsberg str. 3., H-8237 Hungary
Keywords: Ex-arable land, Grassland restoration, Land use legacy, Mowing, Secondary succession, Spatial heterogeneity, Species pool, Target species

Abstract

We report an exceptionally fast grassland recovery process from a karst plateau in SW Slovenia. Vegetation of old fields with different ages was sampled using a chronosequence of fields abandoned 1, 3, 6, 9, 13, 15 and 100 years ago. We prepared dendrogram dividing the data set into 9 clusters that were further analyzed: diagnostic species, ecological conditions and life forms were evaluated. The initial stage of succession was characterized by segetal weeds and indicated high levels of soil nutrients. The second stage was dominated by dense patches of perennial forbs (most of them ruderal species) preferring also high levels of soil nutrients. The third stage was dominated by caespitose hemicryptophyte grasses, many of them of sub-Mediterranean origin. The first two stages took 13 years and both could be considered as early successional stages developing on nutrient rich soils. These stages were switched to late successional stage characterized by seminatural grassland species. The quick succession can probably be attributed to the rich species pool of natural grassland flora, the small size and annual mowing of abandoned agricultural fields and the close proximity of seed sources.

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Published
2020-07-22
How to Cite
ČarniA., ZimmermannZ., JuvanN., PaušičA., SzabóG. and BarthaS. (2020) “An example of fast old field succession in a traditionally managed rural landscape on the Slovenian Karst”, Hacquetia, 20(1), pp. 177–188. Available at: https://ojs.zrc-sazu.si/hacquetia/article/view/8834 (Accessed: 8May2021).
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Articles