Optimal management of the rare Gladiolus imbricatus in Estonian coastal meadows indicated by its population structure
Abstract:Questions: What is the best grassland management regime for the threatened plant species Gladiolus imbricatus; is the stage structure of local populations a feasible indicator of the effect of changed management.
Location: Coastal meadow system in southwestern Estonia.
Methods: The effect of five management regimes was studied in a long-term (three-year) field experiment: (1) mowing in late July, (2) grazing by cattle, (3) grazing by sheep, (4) sheep grazing during the first year and mowing during subsequent years, (5) no management (control).
Results: The population density increased significantly in response to the mowing treatment and to the mowing after sheep grazing treatment. The proportion of grazed plant individuals was higher in the sheep-grazed than in the cattle-grazed treatment. Generative and vegetative adult individuals of G. imbricatus were significantly more damaged by cattle herbivory than juveniles. All management regimes shifted the population structure towards a dynamic state where juvenile stages dominate, while the not managed control retained a regressive population structure.
Conclusions: Population stage structure was a useful indicator of different management conditions, even in the case where population density did not differ. As indicated by population stage structure, the best management regime for G. imbricatus was either mowing in late July only, or alternation of grazing and mowing in different years.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 1, 2007
More about this publication?
- This journal is closely linked to the Journal of Vegetation Science. It publishes original articles, short notes and review articles in the field of applied vegetation science. Applied Vegetation Science is the Official Organ of the International Association of Vegetation Science (IAVS).
- Editorial Board
- Information for Authors
- Submit a Paper
- Subscribe to this Title
- Membership Information
- Terms & Conditions
- Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites