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Productive, environmental and landscape effects of extensification in mountain meadows: five years of trials in seven alpine areas

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Authors:

Mauro Bassignana, Ferdinando Bozzo, Fabrizio Clementel, Giampaolo Della Marianna, Fausto Gusmeroli, Andreas Kasal, Michele Lamesso, Marco Ligabue, Diego Orlandi, Renato Paoletti, Giuseppe Parente, Sonia Venerus.

Publication
year:

2003

Journal:

Pubblicazione dell’Azienda Regionale Veneto Agricoltura

Abstract:

Seven experimental trials were set up and carried out from 1996 to 2000 in seven Italian mountain sites. Six treatments were compared by a random block design: one artificial sward, four permanent swards managed with two different cut frequencies and fertilisation practices and one undisturbed sward. The aim of this study was the evaluation of productive, environmental and landscape effects of cultural extensification on natural mountain grasslands.

The permanent sward, managed according to local practices, gave similar or little less productive yields than those of artificial sward, thus showing to better fit the various requirements. The reduction of cut frequencies caused a production decrease and risks of nitrogen losses, without assuring real advantages on biodiversity and on the aesthetic value of swards.

The suspension of fertilisation, on the contrary, was favourable from the environmental point of view. On the basis of agro-environmental measures in force, which also add the traditional forage growing, the extensive management o f grassland seems to be advantageous only for conservative purposes. However, one or two cuts per year should be done in order to avoid an excessive worsening of agronomic, biological and aesthetic qualities of phytocenosis.

Keywords:

extensification, meadow, biodiversity

Contacts (for theses contacts Rapporteur)
Contact person:

Mauro Bassignana

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