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Is spring burning a viable management tool for species-rich grasslands?
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 80 credits / 120 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Semi- natural grasslands are species-rich and also one of the most threatened biotopes in Europe. The area of these grasslands has declined and grassland vegetation is threatened as a result of lack of management and land use change. Appropriate management is therefore required to maintain the conservation values and high species richness of semi- natural grasslands. Traditional management, that is, grazing or annual mowing is expensive, which motivates evaluation of alternative cheaper methods of management. Burning is less costly and therefore I evaluated burning along with the conventional methods. The study addressed the main question: is burning an option to mowing and grazing? I searched the literature for available studies suitable for metaanalysis, but located only detailed reports from a series of eleven Swedish long-term field trials. In addition, I collected data in the only one of these trials still running. To facilitate metaanalysis, l used different indicator systems of classification of grassland plants then calculating the odds for a random record being an indicator after one, eight, fourteen, twenty-eight and thirty-nine spring burns. The results show an increasing proportion of grassland indicators of good management in the mowed and grazed plots compared with the burnt plots, indicating a general negative effect of burning on grassland plants compared with mowing and grazing. Hence, burning is not an appropriate long-term management method if the aim is to maintain vegetation diversity in semi-natural grassland.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 24 p.
Keyword [en]
Burning, grazing, indicators, management, mowing, semi-natural grasslands.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-78043ISRN: LITH-IFM-A-EX-12/2620-SEOAI: diva2:530976
Subject / course
2012-05-25, Schrodinger, Linköping University, Linköping, 15:20 (English)
Agriculture, Veterinary Medicine, Forestry
Available from: 2012-06-25 Created: 2012-06-05 Last updated: 2012-06-25Bibliographically approved

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Akoto, Brenda
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Department of Physics, Chemistry and BiologyThe Institute of Technology

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