We studied the vegetation development in the Pannonian salt steppes in SW Slovakia (class Festuco-Puccinellietea) for eight years on permanent plots. The saline grassland was ploughed in 2002 to cultivate wheat and barley, and after two years it was left fallow. An open vegetation structure was typical for the initial stages, dominated by the obligate halophyte Tripolium pannonicum, accompanied by Atriplex littoralis and other annuals. Species richness significantly increased in the subsequent years. From the fifth year of the study, a significant increase of facultative halophytes (e.g. Lotus tenuis, Tetragonolobus maritimus, Agrostis stolonifera) and colonization of some expansive species (Phragmites communis, Calamagrostis epigejos) was observed and accompanied by a decrease in the cover of obligate halophytes (T. pannonicum and Puccinellia distans). Plantago maritima exhibited an opposite trend, and it was the only halophyte that was able to increase its population after the disturbance, due to vegetative propagation by rhizomes which increased the competitiveness of the species. The declining presence of salt-demanding species indicates a strong degradation of the saline vegetation, which might be linked to gradual desalinization of the soil. We conclude that population fluxes after adverse human disturbance and subsequent abandonment are very high, and succession of halophytic communities after such a strong disturbance is very fast, leading to deterioration of the habitat.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 51 • No. 5