Folia Geobotanica

, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 209–227 | Cite as

Composition and Diversity of Lawn Flora in Differently Managed Village Yards – A Case Study from Southwestern Hungary

  • Robert W. Pal
  • Sándor Csete
  • Zoltán Botta-Dukát
  • Gyula Pinke


Traditionally managed village yards have been disappearing from the Central-European countryside. Their lawn flora is likely to provide a unique habitat for many plants that are adapted to this environment. Composition of lawn flora was investigated in differently managed village yards (i.e., regularly mown and regularly trampled yards, poultry yards, paved yards) in southwestern Hungary. The main goal of the study was to detect the impacts of these different management regimes on the composition and diversity of the vegetation. In total, 240 1-m2 plots were sampled in 60 yards ranging from 80 m2 to 5,000 m2 in size. In the redundancy analysis, eight significant variables (degree of southness, slope, age, total size of yards; mowing, trampling and grazing regime; and the number of dogs) explained 16 % of the total variation in species data. The most diverse flora across yards was detected in the paved ones, and their stands also proved to be the most compositionally distinctive. In contrast, presence of domestic animals can contribute to local species loss as well as to a decrease in within-yard-type variability. These results highlight the importance of certain anthropogenic disturbances in maintaining high plant diversity, but also underline the crucial role of small-scale land management practices in rural environments.


Anthropogenic disturbance Grazing Mowing Ruderal vegetation Trampling 
Plant nomenclature

Simon (2000)



This work was supported by the Carpathes Nature Conservation Foundation and TÁMOP-4.2.2/B-10/1-2010-0029. We are grateful to the yard owners for the use of their property. Thanks to Prof. Sándor Bartha (Hungarian Academy of Sciences) for his help in initiating the project, to Dr. Emily Rauschert (The Pennsylvania State University) and to Prof. Paul Alaback (University of Montana) for useful comments and linguistic improvement of the text.


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Copyright information

© Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert W. Pal
    • 1
  • Sándor Csete
    • 1
  • Zoltán Botta-Dukát
    • 2
  • Gyula Pinke
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of BiologyUniversity of Pécs, Faculty of SciencesPécsHungary
  2. 2.Centre for Ecological ResearchMTAVácrátótHungary
  3. 3.Department of BotanyUniversity of West Hungary, Faculty of Agricultural and Food SciencesMosonmagyaróvárHungary

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