Productivity and Biodiversity

The adjacent figure displays the results of productivity tests on extensively used (unfertilised) grassland sites within the PROGRASS project.

  • With extensive mowing the annual grassland yields (t DryMatter / ha) decreased slightly on the German sites and noticeably on the Welsh sites within the 3-years experiment.

  • In contrast, on other sites (Estonia) the yields were stable on a low level.

The second figure displays the interrelation between rural land use and biodiversity.

  • An intensive grassland use with frequent mowing and manuring reduces the number of species drastically.

  • Similarly the richness of species is slowly reduced by a more extensive land use accompanied by a successive transformation to scrublands and woods.

The last figure shows the changes in the number of species observed during a three years long field experiment in Germany (DE), United Kingdom (UK) and Estonia (EE) on six different sites.

  • The strongest gains are observed on the comparably species-poor Welsh sites.

  • The species-rich sites in Germany and Estonia could maintain their biodiversity and realise new species too.

  • Endangered species of the red list and particular rare species like early purple orchid and globe-flower could be conserved.