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Abstract . The potential community species richness was predicted for 85 patches of seminatural grassland in an agricultural landscape in Denmark. The basis of the prediction was a very large dataset on the vegetation, soil pH and topography in Danish grasslands and related communities. Species were inserted into potential species pools according to their preferences regarding soil acidity and water availability (expressed as potential solar irradiation), and to the ranges in these two factors observed in each grassland patch. The difference between the predicted and the observed patch-level species richness, community richness deficit, varied considerably among patches. Community richness deficit exhibited a negative relationship with patch area, and for small patches a positive relationship with patch isolation.