Uogintas D., Rašomavičius V.
Impact of short-term abandonment on the structure and functions of semi-natural dry grasslands
A study of the impact of short-term abandonment on the structure and functions of semi-natural dry grasslands in Lithuania was performed. Data on the abundance of vascular plant species, hay and litter samples were collected. At the same time, plant functional traits and Ellenberg indicator values were used to evaluate the effect of abandonment on the structure and functions of semi-natural dry grasslands. The results showed that litter layer was significantly heavier in unmanaged plots compared to that in managed plots. The vascular plant species pool was higher in managed plots, where 62 vascular plant species were identified, while in unmanaged plots 46 species were identified. The species richness was significantly higher in managed semi-natural dry grasslands. Unmanaged plots had 12.3 ± 0.6 species, while managed plots had 17.7 ± 1.2 species per one square metre. Functional plant traits were similar in mowed and abandoned communities, while functional diversity was lower in unmanaged communities. These results are a clear indicator that the managing of semi-natural dry grasslands creates heterogeneity of the environment. Doi https://doi.org/10.2478/botlit-2020-0004 Keywords
functional traits, hemiboreal zone, mowing, plant diversity, plant species richness, semi-natural grasslands