Central European dry grasslands: processes of their development and possibilities for their maintenance
2007. 142 pages, 44 figures, 32 tables, 14x23cm, 310 g
(Dissertationes Botanicae, Band 406)
ISBN 978-3-443-64319-5, paperback, price: 44.00 €
in stock and ready to ship
- ↓ Synopsis
- ↓ Bespr.: Tuexenia 28 (2008), S. 283
- ↓ Review: Bulletin 2 (2009) of the European Dry Grassland Group
- ↓ Bespr.: Kieler Notizen zur Pflanzenkunde 36 (2)
- ↓ Contents
Bespr.: Tuexenia 28 (2008), S. 283 top ↑
Tuexenia 28 (2008), S. 283
Review: Bulletin 2 (2009) of the European Dry Grassland Group top ↑
Firstly, she investigated the past processes of the expansion and current processes of species life-history of dry grassland plant species in Central Europe using the example of Eryngium campestre (analysis of phylogeography using molecular biology methods). The main finding was that the two distribution areas of the species within Germany are clearly separated genetically, and the post-glacial colonization occurred from geographically isolated refugia. The results of this research were published also in a separate paper (Bylebyl et al. 2008). The definition of xerothermophilous species and their post-glacial spreading in Central Europe have been discussed.
Secondly, the author focussed on plant functional traits (characterizing dispersal, establishment and persistence abilities of plant species) and plant strategies as the fundamental approach to understand the vegetation dynamics. The development of trait composition during the four year succession induced by restoration management was analyzed. More detailed study was devoted to one trait – germination response to fire simulation. Four species out of 10 analysed species showed significant positive reactions to fire simulation.
Finally, the author tried to analyze problems of maintenance of a traditional historical landscape exemplified with the Middle Rhine region. Two novel management practices (controlled burning and tank track management – two tank tracks weighting about 1.5 tonnes were mounted into a steel frame and were drawn by a tractor through shrubby vegetation)) were evaluated and compared to manual clear cutting to restore abandoned vineyards and grasslands (several succession stages were compared). Results showed that the novel practices were cheaper and even more efficient in grassland restoration than conventional management (species diversity was higher). In this respect, the title of the book is somewhat misleading as the main emphasis of the research presented in the monograph is not on the long-term grassland maintenance but the short-term restoration success (four year observations).
The book is divided into nine chapters. Each of them is structured as an independent paper with sections of abstract, introduction, methods, results and discussion. The disadvantage of such an approach is that the reader has to read the same information (e.g. description of the study sites or importance of implementation of novel methods to restore dry grasslands) several times.
The problems comprised are so heterogeneous (from genetical diversity to landscape management) that it is not a surprise that the book lacks integrity and the degree of detailed elaboration is missing in places. Nevertheless, the book is very valuable both for scientists and nature conservation practitioners as a good example demonstrating the importance of integrating different approaches to achieve dry grassland conservation goals.
Solvita Rūsiņa, Riga, Latvia
Bulletin 2 (2009) of the European Dry Grassland Group, p. 17
Bespr.: Kieler Notizen zur Pflanzenkunde 36 (2) top ↑
Kieler Notizen zur Pflanzenkunde 36 (2)
Contents top ↑
Chapter 2 Where dry grassland species came from - Postglacial
expansion of Eryngium campestre L. (Apiaceae) in Germany
Chapter 3 Life-history characteristics of a dry grassland species,
Chapter 4 The Middle Rhine valley . past processes and today.s
problems and perspectives
Chapter 5 Conservation and restoration of dry grasslands on former
vineyards . conventional or .novel. management practices?
Chapter 6 Restoration of dry grasslands from shrublands . is tank
track management a suitable alternative to manual clear
Chapter 7 Restoration of dry grasslands from Rubus fruticosus agg.-
dominated sites . is controlled burning a suitable alternative
to manual clear cutting?
Chapter 8 Germination response of Central European dry grassland
species to fire . the effect of heat and smoke
Chapter 9 Conclusions and Perspectives 108