Prosjekt ENGKALL: Tilpasset skjøtsel av verdifulle slåtteenger.
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBlyttia : Norsk botanisk forenings tidsskrift. 2017, 75 (4), 209-216.
Semi-natural habitats are key habitats for biodiversity in agricultural landscapes, but are threatened due to structural change and decline in agriculture. In Norway, the Action Plan for Hay Meadows (APHM) was implemented in 2009, including management agreements with farmers/land owners/users. In this study the results and experiences in two study areas in Møre og Romsdal regional county, South-Western Norway, was carried out with the aim to assess crucial aspects of the APHM. This interdisciplinary study was based on a combination of botanical studies of hay meadows of 14 properties holding landscape management agreements and a social science approach with qualitative, semi-structured interviews, aiming at societal aspects influencing the management of these biologically and culturally important hay meadows. One aim was to investigate whether Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) could be utilised in order to optimalise hay meadow management. By investigating the relationship between the proportion mature plants of the semi-natural grassland specialists and the phenology of earlier identified TEK indicators, we could not define one valid TEK-point based on the species used to indicate when to start mowing historically. However, we found that variations in time of hay cut, rather than a rigid date, is crucial. Interviews showed that little remained of what may be defined as TEK. Owners/users in general appreciated the scheme, and had in general few problems adapting to scheme prescriptions. Without the scheme, many of the meadows would not have been properly managed. However, owners/users were concerned regarding issues of fertilizing and impoverishment of the soil, which may be linked to upheaval of the previously common grazing in spring and/or autumn. Overall, the scheme may be described as a success, however, a serious concern is the high average age of owners/users, lack of successors to the farms and properties for future management of these hay meadows