, Volume 57, Issue 2-3, pp 103-114

Diversity models applied to a chalk grassland

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Abstract

In a permanent plot experiment started in 1971, the effects of several management regimes on diversity of a Dutch chalk grassland have been investigated and the results have been compared to existing models predicting general trends in diversity. Treatments included grazing, mowing, and leaving untouched; in the mown plots, the effects of fertilizing and sod cutting were also studied. Grazing resulted in the highest diversity, leaving untouched in the lowest (ca. 42 and 15 spp. per m2, respectively). Within the mown plots, fertilizing decreased diversity. The effects of sod cutting disappeared after some years. The results conform best with the response surface model of Huston (1979) relating diversity to frequency of population reduction and rate of competitive displacement, but a slight modification of the shape of the surface is suggested.

Nomenclature follows van der Meijden et al., 1983.
The authors are very grateful to Dr J. Miles (Banchory, U.K.) for stimulating remarks and to Prof. Dr. M. J. A. Werger, Dr R. K. Peet and two reviewers for many valuable comments and suggestions.