Peat wetlands are of major importance for ecosystem services such as carbon storage and maintenance of biodiversity. However, peat drainage for farming leads to CO2 emission and biodiversity losses. In the peat areas in the Netherlands, solutions are sought in reducing drainage and converting productive dairy grasslands to less intensively managed semi-natural grasslands. Our objective was to compare the soil faunal and plant diversity of dairy and semi-natural grasslands on peat soils. Taxonomic richness of earthworms, enchytraeids, nematodes, microarthropods and plants were measured in 20 dairy and 20 semi-natural sites. Mean soil faunal taxonomic richness per site (alpha diversity) was higher in dairy grasslands compared to semi-natural grasslands but no difference was found for plant species richness. However, the total observed number of taxa (gamma diversity) in dairy grassland was 21% lower for soil faunal and plant species together. We conclude that spatial scale is of crucial importance for biodiversity and management strategies. In dairy grasslands, between-farm diversification may increase biodiversity at landscape scale. Similarly, diversity in (semi) natural grasslands is needed to keep a high gamma biodiversity in this land use type.
Soil faunal and plant diversity of dairy and semi-natural grasslands on peat
Pagina's / pages: 3
Type: Congres bijdragen
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Abstract / summary in English:
Keywords in English: grassland, terric histosols, soil biodiversity, botanical diversity