Land-use change is a major threat for biodiversity and ecosystem functions. We have studied this topic in the highlands of southern Brazil. Here grasslands have decreased strongly due to pine plantations and expansion of arable land. We currently study the effects of grassland management and land-use change on biotic and abiotic components using 80 sites. Primary grasslands of low and of high management intensity differ from original grassland regarding vegetation composition. Secondary grasslands both on former arable fields and plantations develop deviating plant communities, and soil conditions of secondary grassland after arable use are distinct. The decrease in species numbers of abandoned primary grasslands might be reversed by resuming management, while changes in secondary grasslands on former pine plantations require re-introduction of grassland plants. This is also true for intensively used primary grasslands and secondary ones on former arable fields. Overall, restoration of grasslands after land-use change is feasible, while conversion of land use should be reduced.
Invited by Jürgen Dengler, Plant Ecology
Diversity and impact of invasive crayfish and crayfish plague: from Czechia to continental scale
A new experiment to unravel the Impact of Biodiversity and Climate Variability on the functioning of grasslands
Anticipating biome shifts