In mid May, the subcontractor for vegetation surveys, Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU), started work on grasslands in Goričko. Experts from ZRC SAZU were accompanied by project partner staff. As the project continues, the latter will perform vegetation surveys themselves in order to monitor the progress of restoration.
Surveys were done according to the Braun-Blanquet method; species, their frequency and certain other parameters were recorded on 5 x 5 m quadrats (where vegetation was not uniform, more than one quadrat per meadow was surveyed), followed by a detailed inspection of the remaining part of the meadow to identify any other plant species present.
Donor meadows – the ones from which seed material for restoration will be taken – were usually better preserved. They hosted several botanical »treats«, such as the rock cinquefoil Potentilla rupestris, purple mullein Verbascum phoeniceum, bulbous saxifrage Saxifraga bulbifera and carthusian pink Dianthus carthusianorum. Some recipient meadows, that will be restored in the project, were created by forest removal and machine sowing of commercial seed mixtures, whereas others are located on former arable fields and are covered in goldenrod. Our final goal is to improve their status by the use of green hay and local seed mixtures.