Differentiation of grassland vegetation in relation to the physicochemical properties of peat soils in the Obra River valley, western Poland
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Katedra Gleboznawstwa i Mikrobiologii, Uniwersytet Przyrodniczy w Poznaniu, Polska
Katedra Łąkarstwa i Krajobrazu Przyrodniczego, Uniwersytet Przyrodniczy w Poznaniu, Polska
Katedra Geobotaniki i Planowania Krajobrazu, Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika w Toruniu, Polska
Submission date: 2024-04-24
Final revision date: 2024-06-04
Acceptance date: 2024-06-16
Online publication date: 2024-06-16
Publication date: 2024-07-12
Corresponding author
Justyna Mencel   

Katedra Gleboznawstwa i Mikrobiologii, Uniwersytet Przyrodniczy w Poznaniu, Szydłowska 50, 60-665, Poznań, Polska
Soil Sci. Ann., 2024, 75(2)190113
The aim of the study was to present the phytosociological structure of selected grassland communities on shallow peat soils undergoing the of mursh-forming (murshing) process (humification and peat mineralization). The study area was located between the North, Middle and South channels of the Obra River (Wielkopolska Lowland, western Poland). Soil surveys were conducted in May and September 2022 and phytosociological surveys in May and September 2022–2023. Soil samples for laboratory analysis were taken from the uppermost soil horizons at a depth of 0–20 cm in 20 study points. 76 phytosociological releves were taken. Five vegetation syntaxonomic units were distinguished: Molinietum caeruleae, com. Poa pratensis-Festuca rubra, Arrhenatheretum elatioris, Lolio-Cynosuretum and Alopecuretum pratensis. The community with the highest diversity values and number of species recorded in the releves was Molinietum caeruleae, while the poorest in species with lowest Shannon-Wiener index was Lolio-Cynosuretum. The soils were classified as Umbric Gleysols, Mollic/Umbric Gleysols, Histic Gleysols, Histic Gleysols (Murshic). The highest contents of TOC and TN were recorded for community Poa pratensis-Festuca rubra and the lowest for Arrhenatheretum elatioris. The pH values indicated slightly acidic soils in the case of the following communities: Alopecuretum pratensis, Molinietum caeruleae, Lolio-Cynosuretum, com. Poa pratensis-Festuca rubra and slightly alkaline soils in the case of Arrhenatheretum elatioris. The results of the discriminant analysis demonstrated that the most important statistically significant factor for vegetation syntaxonomic units differentiation was soil pH measured both in H2O and KCl. Molinietum caeruleae association was present on the soils poor in mineral components and organic matter of relatively high C:N ratio. Shannon-Wiener index was significantly negatively correlated with TOC and TN. It is advisable to continue to maintain the studied sites as grassland vegetation. Grassland communities can survive in the murshing process, provided they are correctly used (regular mowing, grazing, and fertilizing) and water relations are regulated. Grasslands, besides to enriching soils with nutrients, create the best conditions for limiting the decomposition of organic matter in accumulation and humus levels of mursh nature, which is extremely important in the face of climate change.
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