INFRAS, CH-8002 Zurich

Quality of mountain meadow types

Plant species richness, plant assemblages, red list plants and the fulfilment of quality requirements with respect to ecological quality payment system (ÖQV) were investigated for different mountain meadow types in the Swiss Alps. The overall quality of extensively managed meadows was slightly but not significantly higher than that of low-intensive meadows. Only intensively managed meadows clearly differed from the less intensively or extensively managed meadow types. The mean number of plant species per meadow type declined with increasing management intensity. Dry sites harboured slightly more species regardless of the management type. Other factors such as slope, altitude, accessibility (distance from farmyard) or meadow size did not significantly influence the species richness of meadows. Compared to investigations in the Swiss lowlands, the extensively or less intensively managed mountain meadows showed higher ecological quality.

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