Arrhenatherion meadows are highly abundant in semi-natural grasslands of Central Europe and are regarded as an important resource for the ecological restoration of species-rich grassland. The effectiveness of different restoration methods of former intensively used arable land was tested by means of a field experiment. A donor site was harvested via i) on-site threshing (OST) and ii) fresh hay cutting - green hay (GH). The harvested material was transferred to a receptor site, which was deep ploughed before applying the seed and plant material. Three years after the establishment 20 target species with a transfer rate of 61% were observed for the OST method, resulting in a vegetation cover of target species of 72%. In the same year, the GH method achieved a number of 16 target species at the transfer rate of 52% and a share of target species at the vegetation cover of 74%. The number of target species and also the transfer rate increased over the years of observation. Both establishment methods are, in combination with an adequate site preparation, effective methods for the ecological restoration of Arrhenatherion meadows on former arable land. A PCoA analysis showed a trend of increasing similarity of donor site and receptor site over time, but up to now without any statistical significance.
Graiss, W., Haslgrübler, P., Blaschka, A., Pötsch, E., Krautzer, B., 2013: Establishment of an Arrhenatherion meadow through on-site threshing material and green hay transfer. Proceedings of the 17th Symposium of the European Grassland Federation "The Role of Grasslands in a Green Future. Threats and Perspectives in Less Favoured Areas", Grassland Science in Europe Volume 18, p. 341-343.