Pyrenean meadows in Natura 2000 network: grass production and plant biodiversity conservation

Ramón Reiné, Olivia Barrantes, Cristina Chocarro, Alejandro Juárez, Alfonso Broca, Melchor Maestro, Ferrer Carlos

Abstract


In semi-natural mountain meadows, yield and forage quality must be reconciled with plant biodiversity conservation. This study was performed to analyze the relationships between these three parameters. To quantify plant biodiversity and pastoral value (PV), phytosociological inventories were performed in 104 semi-natural meadows in the Central Spanish Pyrenees included in the Natura 2000 network. Forage yields were calculated and forage samples were analyzed for relative feed value (RFV). We identified two main types of meadows: (i) those that had “more intensive management,” relatively close to farm buildings, with little or no slope, dominated by grasses, with low plant biodiversity, high PV and yield, but low forage quality and (ii) those that had “less intensive management,” distant from farm buildings, on slopes, richer in “other forbs”, with high plant biodiversity and forage quality, but low PV and yield. Conservation policies should emphasize less intensive management practices to maintain plant diversity in the semi-natural meadows in the Pyrenees. The widespread view that “other forbs” have low nutritional value should be revised in future research. These species often are undervalued by the PV method, because their nutritional quality, digestibility and intake are poorly understood.

Keywords


phytosociological inventories; botanical composition; Shannon index; pastoral value; Ellenberg indices; relative feed value; “other forbs”

Full Text:

PDF

References


Agreil C, Meuret M, Vincent M, 2004. GRENOUILLE: une méthode pour gérer les ressources alimentaires pour des ovins sur milieux embroussaillés. Fourrages 180: 467-481.

Alard D, Balent G, 2007. Sécheresse: quels impacts sur la biodiversité en systèmes prairiaux et pastoraux? Fourrages 190: 197-206.

Allen MS, 2000. Effect of diet on short-term regulation of feed intake by lactation dairy cattle. J Dairy Sci 83: 1598-1624. http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(00)75030-2

Andrieu N, Josien E, Duru M, 2007. Relationships between diversity of grassland vegetation, field characteristics and land use management practices assessed at the farm level. Agr Ecosyst Environ 120: 359-369. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2006.10.022

Andueza D, Cruz P, Farruggia A, Baumont R, Picard F, Michalet-Doreau B, 2010. Nutritive value of two meadows and relationships with some vegetation traits. Grass Forage Sci 65: 325-334.

Ansquer P, Theau JP, Cruz P, Viegas J, Al Haj Khaled R, Duru M, 2004. Caractérisation de la diversité fonctionnelle des prairies naturelles. Une étape vers la construction d'outils pour gérer les milieux à flore complexe. Fourrages 179: 353-368.

Barrantes O, Ferrer C, Reiné R, Broca A, 2009. Categorization of grazing systems to aid the development of land use policy in Aragon, Spain. Grass Forage Sci 64: 26-41. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2494.2008.00666.x

Baumont R, Aufrère J, Niderkorn V, Andueza D, Surault F, Peccatte JR, Delaby L, Pelletier P, 2008. La diversité spécifique dans le fourrage: conséquences sur la valeur alimentaire. Fourrages 194: 189-206.

Blackstock TH, Rimes CA, Stevens DP, Jefferson RG, Robertson HJ, Mackintosh J, Hopkins JJ, 1999. The extent of semi-natural grassland communities in lowland England and Wales: a review of conservation surveys 1978–96. Grass Forage Sci 54: 1-18. http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2494.1999.00157.x

Botoni-Liehoun E, Daget P, Cesar J, 2006. Activités de pâturage, biodiversité et végétation pastorale dans la zone Ouest du Burkina Faso. Revue d'Elevage et de Médicine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux 59: 31-38.

Braun-Blanquet J, 1965. Plant Sociology. The study of plant communities. Hafner Publ Co, NY, USA. 439 pp.

Bruinenberg MH, Valk H, Korevaar H, Struik PC, 2002. Factors affecting digestibility of temperate forages from seminatural grasslands: a review. Grass Forage Sci 57: 292-301. http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2494.2002.00327.x

Buxton DR, Redfearn D, 1997. Plant limitations to fiber digestion and utilization. J Nutr 127: 814-818.

Chocarro C, Reiné R, Ascaso J, Yera J, Ferrer C, 2009. 6520 Prados de siega de monta-a (Triseto-Polygonion bistortae). In: Bases ecológicas preliminares para la conservación de los tipos de hábitat de interés comunitario en Espa-a (VV.AA, eds.) Dirección General de Medio Natural y Política Forestal, Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, y Medio Rural y Marino, Madrid (Spain), 48 pp.

Čop J, Vidrih M, Hacin J, 2009. Influence of cutting regime and fertilizer application on the botanical composition, yield and nutritive value of herbage of wet grasslands in Central Europe. Grass Forage Sci 64: 454-465. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2494.2009.00713.x

Daget P, Poissonet J, 1972. Un procédé d'estimation de la valeur pastorale des pâturages. Fourrages 49: 31-39.

Di Tommaso A, Aarssen LW, 1989. Resource manipulation in natural vegetation: a review. Vegetatio 84: 9-29. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00054662

Duncan AJ, Ginane C, Gordon IJ, Orskov ER, 2003. Why do herbivores select mixed diets? Proc VIth Int Symp on the Nutrition of Herbivores, Mérida (México), Oct 19-24. pp: 195-209.

During HJ, Willems JH, 1984. Diversity models applied to a chalk grassland. Vegetatio 57: 103-114. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00047305

Ellenberg H, Weber HE, Dull R, Wirt HV, Werner W, Paulissen D, 1991. Zeigerwerte von Pflanzen in Mitteleuropa. Scripta Geobotanica 18: 1-248.

Farruggia A, Martin B, Baumont R, Prache S, Doreau M, Hoste H, Durand D, 2008. Quels intérêts de la diversité floristique des prairies permanentes pour les ruminants et les produits animaux? INRA Prod Anim 21(2): 181-200.

Farruggia A, Pompanon F, Ginane C, Vazeille K, Niderkorn V, Hulin S, 2012. Reconstituer la composition du régime alimentaire des herbivores domestiques au pâturage: l'approche par métabarcoding. Fourrages 209: 43-51.

Ferrer C, Amella A, Maestro M, Broca A, Ascaso J, 1990. Praderas naturales de los fondos de valle del Pirineo Central: suelo, manejo, flora, producción y calidad. Proc XXX Reunión Científica de la Sociedad Espa-ola para el Estudio de los Pastos, San Sebastian (Spain), pp: 168-183.

Fischer M, Wipf S, 2002. Effect of low-intensity grazing on the species-rich vegetation of traditionally mown subalpine meadows. Biol Conserv 104: 1-11. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3207(01)00149-5

Gibon A, Balent G, Alard D, Muntane J, Ladet S, Mottet A, Julien MP, 2004. L'usage de l'espace par les exploitations d'élevage de montagne et la gestion de la biodiversité. Fourrages 178: 245-263.

Gillet F, 2008. Modelling vegetation dynamics in heterogeneous pasture-woodland landscapes. Ecol Model 217: 1-18. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2008.05.013

Gillet F, Besson O, Gobat JM, 2002. PATUMOD: a compartment model of vegetation dynamics in wooded pastures. Ecol Model 147: 267-290. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0304-3800(01)00427-6

Grime JP, 1979. Plant strategies and vegetations processes. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, UK. 222 pp.

Henle K, Alard D, Clitherow J, Coob P, Firbank L, Kull T, Mccracken D, Moritz RFA, Niemelä J et al., 2008. Identifying and managing the conflicts between agriculture and biodiversity conservation in Europe. A review. Agr Ecosyst Environ 124: 60-71. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2007.09.005

Hill MO, 1979. Twinspan. A Fortran program for arranging multivariate data in an ordered two-way table by classification of the individuals and attributes. Cornell Univ, NY, USA. 90 pp.

Hill MO, Preston CD, Roy DB 2004. PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants: status, size, life history, geography and habitats. Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Cambridge, UK. 73 pp.

Hodgson JG, Montserrat-Martí G, Tallowin J, Thompson K, Díaz S, Cabido M, Grime JP, Wilson PJ, Band SR et al., 2005. How much will it cost to save grassland diversity? Biol Conserv 122: 263-273. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2004.07.016

IBM, 2010. SPSS –Statistics v.19.0. IBM Company, Armonk, NY, USA.

Jung HG, Engels FM, 2002. Alfalfa stem tissues: cell-wall deposition, composition and degradability. Crop Sci 42: 524-534. http://dx.doi.org/10.2135/cropsci2002.0524

Kahmen S, Poschlod P, 2008. Effects of grassland management on plant functional trait composition. Agr Ecosyst Environ 128: 137-145. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2008.05.016

Kirkham FW, Tallowin JRB, 1995. The influence of cutting date and previous fertilizer treatment on the productivity and botanical composition of species-rich hay meadows on the Somerset levels. Grass Forage Sci 50: 365-377. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2494.1995.tb02331.x

Linn JG, Martin NP, 1999. Forage quality tests and interpretations. Univ. Minnesota, Extension WW-02637. Available in http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/livestocksystems/DI2637.html [4 June 2013]

MAFF, 2002. Towards sustainable agriculture (a pilot set of indicators). Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Publications, London, UK. 72 pp.

Marini L, Scotton M, Klimek S, Pecile A, 2008. Patterns of plant species richness in Alpine hay meadows: Local vs. landscape controls. Basic Appl Ecol 9: 365-372. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.baae.2007.06.011

Meisser M, Troxler J, 2007. Effet du niveau de chargement sur la composition botanique d'un estivage jurassien. Revue Suisse d'Agriculture 39: 67-71.

Min BR, McNabb WC, Barry TN, Peters JS, 2000. Solubilization and degradation of ribuloe-1,5-bisohosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (EC 4.1.1.39; Rubisco) protein from white clover (Trifolium repens) and Lotus corniculatus by rumen microorganisms and the effect of condensed tannins on these processes. J Agr Sci 134: 305-317. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0021859699007698

Nordkvist E, Aman, P, 1986. Changes during growth in anatomical and chemical composition and in-vitro degradability of lucerne. J Sci Food Agr 37: 1-7. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.2740370102

OJ, 1992. Directive 92/43/EEC of the Council of May 21. Official Journal of the European Union L 206 22/07/1992. p. 7.

Paracchini ML, Petersen JE, Hoogeveen Y, Bamps C, Burfield I, Van Swaay C, 2008. High nature value farmland in Europe. An estimate of the distribution patterns on the basis of land cover and biodiversity data. Institute for Environment and Sustainability, European Commission, Luxembourg. 87 pp.

Piveteau V, 1998. Agriculture et environnement: les indicateurs. Diffusion Lavoisier, Cachan Cedex, France. 72 pp.

Pykälä J, 2005. Plant species responses to cattle grazing in mesic semi-natural grassland. Agr Ecosyst Environ 108: 109-117 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2005.01.012

Pykälä J, Luoto M, Heikkinen RK, Kontula T, 2005. Plant species richness and persistence of rare plants in abandoned semi-natural grasslands in northern Europe. Basic Appl Ecol 6: 25-33. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.baae.2004.10.002

Ramírez-Restrepo CA, Barry TN, 2005. Alternative temperate forages containing secondary compounds for improving sustainable productivity in grazing ruminants. Anim Feed Sci Technol 120: 179-201. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2005.01.015

Raunkiaer C, 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Clarendon Press, Oxford, UK. 632 pp.

Reiné R, Chocarro C, Fillat F, 2004. Soil seed bank and management regimes of semi-natural mountain meadow communities. Agr Ecosyst Environ 104: 567-575. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2004.01.024

Reiné R, Ascaso J, Ferrer C, Yera J, Chocarro C, 2009. 6510 Prados de siega de monta-a (Arrhenatherion). In: Bases ecológicas preliminares para la conservación de los tipos de hábitat de interés comunitario en Espa-a (VV.AA, eds.). Dirección General de Medio Natural y Política Forestal, Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, y Medio Rural y Marino, Madrid (Spain). 60 pp.

Roggero PP, Bagella S, Farina R, 2002. Un archivio dati di indici specifici per la valutazione integrata del valore pastorale. Rivista di Agronomia 36: 149-156.

Schwab A, Dubois D, Padruot MF, Edwards PJ, 2002. Estimating the biodiversity of hay meadows in north-eastern Switzerland on the basis of vegetation structure. Agr Ecosyst Environ 93: 197-209. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0167-8809(01)00347-4

Shannon CE, Weaver W, 1949. The mathematical theory of communication. Univ. Illinois Press, Illinois, USA. 144 pp.

Tutin TG, Chater NA, Burges AO, Heywood JR, Edmonson VH, Moore DH, Valentine DH, Waters SM, Webb DA, 1964–1980. Flora europaea. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, UK. 2591 pp.

Van Der Maarel E, 1979. Transformation of cover-abundance values in phytosociology and its effects on community similarity. Vegetatio 39: 97-114. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00052021

Vázquez De Aldana BR, García-Ciudad A, García-Criado B, 2009. Relación entre compuestos fenólicos y calidad nutritiva en especies pratenses. In: La multifuncionalidad de los pastos: producción ganadera sostenible y gestión de los ecosistemas (Reiné R, Barrantes O, Broca A, Ferrer C, eds.). SEEP, Huesca (Spain), pp: 273-278.

Waterman PG, Mole S, 1994. Analysis of phenolic plant metabolites. Blackwell Sci. Publ., Oxford, UK. 238 pp.

Wellstein C, Otte A, Waldhardt R, 2007. Impact of site and management on the diversity of central European mesic grassland. Agr Ecosyst Environ 122: 203-210. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2006.12.033

Zar JH, 1984. Biostatical analysis. Prentice Hall, NJ, USA. 944 pp.




DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2014121-4617