This paper describes the effects of re-establishing seasonal cattle grazing by 0.7 animal.ha−1 on vegetation in a long-term abandoned, and partly degraded, semi-natural mountain pasture in the Šumava National Park, Czech Republic. There was very uneven grazing intensity inside the locality, and grazing preference changed during the season: cattle grazed most of the time in productive but species-poor Deschampsia cespitosa swards, but changed to a species-rich Violion caninae stand in the middle of the summer. A species-rich Carex rostrata community was only grazed at the end of the season. Species-poor swards dominated by Nardus stricta and Carex brizoides were mainly used as resting areas. Both grazing and excluding from grazing had a negative effect on species diversity of the Deschampsia cespitosa swards. The soil seed bank contained only few species that are characteristic of mountain grassland communities, and seed dispersal of the target species by cattle dung was also found to be very limited. Thus both grazing and exclusion from grazing are probably of limited value for the restoration of species-rich grasslands from species-poor Deschampsia cespitosa swards in this case.
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