No. 10 (2003)
Articles

The Evaluation of Grazed Grasslands on the Hortobágy

Published May 11, 2003
Csilla Tóth
Debreceni Egyetem Agrártudományi Centrum, Mezőgazdaságtudományi Kar, Mezőgazdasági Növénytani és Növényélettani Tanszék, Debrecen
Géza Nagy
Debreceni Egyetem Agrártudományi Centrum, Agrárgazdasági és Vidékfejlesztési Kar, Vidékfejlesztési és Tájhasznosítási Tanszék, Debrecen
Antónia Nyakas
Debreceni Egyetem Agrártudományi Centrum, Mezőgazdaságtudományi Kar, Mezőgazdasági Növénytani és Növényélettani Tanszék, Debrecen
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APA

Tóth, C., Nagy, G., & Nyakas, A. (2003). The Evaluation of Grazed Grasslands on the Hortobágy. Acta Agraria Debreceniensis, (10), 50-54. https://doi.org/10.34101/actaagrar/10/3463

The sward composition of different grasslands on Puszta Hortobágy has been developed according to prevailing abiotic and biotic factors. The abiotic conditions have been more or less constans for long periods of time, and the abiotic factors are determined by ecological conditions (climate, soil, topography). Among biotic factors grazing of herbivores was important in the development of Hortobágy grasslands for centuries (Sipos and Varga, 1993). Result of three-year investigations on the sward composition of grasslands utilised in different ways are presented. Data on ground cover, number of plant species, representation of different plant groups (grasses, sedge and bent-grass, herbs, legumes) and weeds are reported from six different grazed grassland types from Puszta Hortobágy.
In 1999-2001 a sward composition survey was conducted. Sample areas of 2x2 m2 were marked out in three replicates: on temporarily waterlogged grassland grazed by cattle (A), on dry grassland grazed by cattle (B), on dry grassland grazed by sheep (C), on dry grassland grazed by buffaloes (D), on dry grassland grazed by buffaloes and geese (E), on dry grassland cut for hay in May then grazed by geese (F). On the sample areas sward composition of grasslands was estimated according to Balázs (1949).
The average ground cover of different grasslands ranged between 60 and 100% (Table 2). The lowest value was found for grasslands C and E, which are grazed by sheep (C) and buffaloes and geese alternately (E). In these grasslands were some open spaces, on the other grasslands completely closed swards covers were observed.
The species diversity of these natural grasslands are high (Table 2). The grassland F, which were cut for hay in May had the lowest diversity (17-21). The highest number of species was found on grassland A and B (32-51), on other grazed grasslands (C, D, E) had 29-48 species.
The different plant groups had different representation in the total ground cover (Table 3). The number of herbs was always higher then that of grasses, but the cover of herbs was lower then that of grasses. The legumes and the sedge and bent grasses were present in high abundance in grassland A, but in the other grasslands were not.
The composition of herbs should be a warning for future utilisation systems on some grasslands of Hortobágy. Some species of herbs, e.g. Achillea millefolium, Artemisia vulgaris, Carduus acanthoides, Cirsium arvense, Cirsium vulgare Eryngium campestre, Galium mollugo, Galium verum, Ononis spinosa, Rumex crispus, Verbascum phlomoideus, Phragmites australis can be invasive on short grasslands.

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