Heath management and ground disturbance

The sod-cutting sites on the heathland site Hamdorf*6*6 serve as testbeds
to provide answers to multiple questions, e.g. to what extent can seed banks

The 3.8 ha large and secluded plot Hamdorf*6*6 was secured using E+E resources, enabling peremanent conservation measures to be implemented. Thus another crucial component on the axis of oligotrophic habitats has been secured.

Due to its small size and access issues, it has not yet been possible to create extensive pasture there. But since the continued abandonment of agricultural land is increasingly threatening the few remaining populations of typical heathland species, the following cost-effective yet efficient, management actions have been implemented:
    • reactivation of the native seed bank
    • creation of initial stages and heterogenization of the locations
    • transferrence of areal grass

Sod cutting has helped start the process of restoring the missing open sandy habitats. These become populated by plants at different rates depending on the intensity of the ground disturbance and the transport of heathland seeds to the site.

Sowing with cuttings from species-rich oligotrophic grasslands from the wider neighbourhood has been tried on several of the 18 sod-cutting sites.
Now, a mosaic of open sandy spaces and plant communities ranging from very early stages of heathland succession (e.g. silver grass meadows) to very late (e.g. loose shrubs) is developing.