In the past decades, biodiversity in farmlands has been declining drastically. To counteract this decline agri-environmental schemes (AES) were introduced in Switzerland and the Europe in which farmers are financially supported to modify their farming practices to provide benefit for biodiversity. To further increase the effect of those schemes, in particular extensively managed meadow, three mowing regimes have been designed and tested (see project).
It has already been shown that these altered mowing regimes have a positive effect on several invertebrate groups. The aim of my BSc study is to analyse the effect of these mowing regimes on the soil seed bank which would represent the seed production of the plants in the last years.
Seed samples were collected in the meadows in 2015 and put in a cold chamber until spring 2017. Then samples were spread in pots full with sterilized soil a put outside for the growing experiment.
Emerging seedlings will be identify to species level. The seed bank will be analysed in terms of abundance and species richness of plants.