ROM - Grasland in Transsilvanien

Importance of litter and fire effects during woody species invasion in Transylvanian dry basiphilous grasslands

Bedeutung von Streu und Feuer bei der Gehölzetablierung in transsilvanischen Magerrasen


Semi-natural Transylvanian dry basiphilous grasslands are hotspots of plant species diversity and currently under threat. In Europe, semi-natural grasslands evolved in response to continuous human activities over millennia and to the prevailing climatic and soil conditions. As soon as regular use as a meadow or grazing ceases, litter starts to accumulate and bush encroachment occurs. In this situation, burning is increasingly applied as an alternative management measure. So far, the effects of fire deliberately set by humans on large scale in non-fire prone grassland ecosystems have not been studied sufficiently. Thus, this project addresses the question, how litter accumulation and fire effects will change the regeneration process of herbaceous species or native and non-native shrubs in species-rich dry basiphilous grasslands. Precisely, the following three working packages (WPs) will be addressed:

WP1: Field study on the differential effects of native and non-native tree and shrub encroachment as well as fire on plant species community structure and species diversity in dry basiphilous grasslands.

WP2: Experimental assessment of the effect of woody species litter and burning of this litter on the germination of typical basiphilous grassland species.

WP3: Experimental investigation of the effects of native and non-native woody species litter, fire and competition on the early phase of shrub and tree establishment.



Laufzeit: 2015-2018

Projektbeteiligte: Eugen Görzen M. Sc., PD Dr. Tobias W. Donath

Kooperationspartner: Dr. Eszter Ruprecht & Dr. Annamária Fenesi, Hungarian Department of Biology and Ecology, Babeş-Bolyai University, Republicii Street 42, RO-400015 Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Förderer: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)