Preliminary Study of the Effect of Chemical and Organic Fertilizers on a Semi-Natural Grassland in Vlăhiţa, Harghita Mountains, Romania

Katalin Molnár 1 , Imre-István Nyárádi 1 , Béla Bíró-Janka 1 , István Simó 1 , János Bálint 1 , and Erzsébet Domokos 1
  • 1 Department of Horticulture, Faculty of Technical and Human Sciences, University of Transylvania, Târgu-Mureş, Sapientia Hungarian, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Abstract

The aim of the research was to examine the effect of different fertilizers on the floristic composition and biomass yield of the semi-natural grassland used as hayfield near Vlăhița locality (Harghita County, Romania) in order to improve its management. In the same time the qualitative structure of the studied grassland was evaluated after the first application of the fertilizers. The vegetation survey was made before mowing, and a total of 84 plant taxa were identified. The studied plant community belongs to the association Festuco-Agrostetum capillaris Horv. 1951. From the 31 fodder species, 13 had very good or good nutritional value. The qualitative structure analysis indicates that the vegetation has developed under moderate anthropogenic pressure. Beside the Euro-Asian elements the Circumpolar and the Cosmopolite elements were well represented. Many species with high tolerance for temperature, soil pH, and soil mineral nitrogen content were registered. After the first application of fertilizers in all treated plots the biodiversity increased compared to the control plot. Fertilized plots also had a significantly higher biomass yield than the control plot. All fertilizers reduced the proportion of the species with good nutritional value from the Poaceae family. Organic fertilizer affected positively the proportion of other plant families than Poaceae and Fabaceae. Long-term experiments are necessary to evaluate the response of the vegetation on treatment with organic fertilizer in order to optimize productivity of the hayfield and sustain species richness.

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