, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 211-221

Biodiversity of soil biota and plants in abandoned arable fields and grasslands under restoration management

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

The currently widespread abandoning of agricultural land use in Western Europe offers new opportunities for ecological restoration and nature conservation. This is illustrated for abandoned arable fields and for permanent grasslands cut for hay after the cessation of fertilizer application. Although initiated by a sudden reduction of nutrient input to the system, the changing nutrient supply from the soil is considered to be the main driving force of succession. The soil nutrient supply is affected by soil organisms, both directly (root symbionts and herbivores) and indirectly (nutrient mineralization from dead organic matter). It is argued that because of the close association of changes in species diversity with changes in the functioning of ecosystems, biodiversity has to be studied in an ecosystem ecology context.