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Krautzer B.,Institute for Plant Production and Cultural Landscape | Graiss W.,Institute for Plant Production and Cultural Landscape | Peratoner G.,Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry Laimburg | Partl C.,Amt der Tiroler Landesregierung | And 2 more authors.
Natural Hazards | Year: 2011

Control of erosion, and all of its after effects, from increased surface drainage and erosion to the formation of karst, is one of the essential problems when undertaking recultivation following necessary interventions in the sub-alpine and alpine vegetation stage (high zones). Average slope inclinations of 30-45% in the vicinity of ski runs, and far above in areas of natural erosion and avalanche zones, make restoration processes with sufficient erosion protection the prerequisite for success. Only a sufficient vegetation development of more than 70% ground cover stabilises the topsoil in the long term and reduces soil erosion to an acceptable degree. From 1999 to 2002, an international EU project with the participation of research groups and private firms from Austria, Italy and Germany was carried out under the direction of the Agricultural Research and Education Centre Raumberg-Gumpenstein (AREC) on five different Alpine sites at altitudes from 1,245 to 2,350 m above sea level. The aim of the work was the formulation of practice-relevant requirements for recultivation following intervention in high zones, especially following constructional measures in the vicinity of ski runs and lifts, torrent- and avalanche barriers. In a statistical comparison, the relationship between restoration techniques, seed mixtures of differing ecological value and vegetation cover was observed. The influence of application technique on erosion processes after restoration was obvious for the first two vegetation periods. Only with the additional use of mulch covers could increase surface drainage and noticeable soil loss be avoided. At high altitudes, the choice of seed mixture, irrespective of whether rapid or slow growing and independent of the extent of accompanying fertilisation, had no significance in the first two vegetation periods following sowing. In the following growing seasons, however, higher cover values were obtained with site-specific seed mixtures at three of the five experimental sites. While few species of the commercial seed mixture showed satisfactory persistency, most of the grasses and in particular the alpine leguminosae of site-specific seed mixtures increased their share during the observation period. In the long-term, sufficient protection against erosion is only guaranteed by the use of stable, enduring and ecologically adapted species. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Haslgrubler P.,Institute for Plant Production and Cultural Landscape | Krautzer B.,Institute for Plant Production and Cultural Landscape | Blaschka A.,Institute for Plant Production and Cultural Landscape | Graiss W.,Institute for Plant Production and Cultural Landscape | Potsch E.M.,Institute for Plant Production and Cultural Landscape
Grass and Forage Science | Year: 2014

Arrhenatherion meadows are an endangered type of semi-natural grassland in Europe, and their conservation and restoration is an important policy objective. Recent research has led to development of techniques for harvesting seed material from regional donor sites and strategies for re-establishment of species-rich grassland, but their practical application requires that consumers are guaranteed sufficient seed quality of directly harvested material. Methods for the evaluation of purity, thousand seed weight (TSW) and germination capacity were developed and tested, a pre-condition to define the optimal seeding rate for this vegetation type (2000-3000 seeds m-2). The assessment was based on seed obtained by two harvesting techniques: on-site threshing (OST) and seed stripping (SS). Materials from both methods obtained 63% pure seeds. The TSW differed significantly between harvesting methods: the OST provided greater seed weight (1·057 g) than the SS (0·84 g). Two trials were implemented to define criteria for the germination capacity test. Organic growing media obtained the best and most homogenous results in a first comparative germination test. In the second trial, different dormancy-breaking treatments were compared, each with and without pre-chilling, namely: addition of potassium nitrate (KNO3), addition of gibberellic acid (GA3) and without addition of chemicals (WA). The germination capacity of the treated variants KNO3, GA3 and pre-chilling was lower than that for WA. The harvesting method significantly influenced quality and quantity of the seed material, whereas the substrate and dormancy-breaking treatments had no effect. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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