|Janišová, M; Bartha, S; Kiehl, K; Dengler, J: Advances in the conservation of dry grasslands – Introduction to contributions from the 7th European Dry Grassland Meeting., Plant Biosystems, 145, 507–513 (2011)|
|Key words: Conference report, European Dry Grassland Group, management, restoration, Special Feature, succession|
Dry grasslands in Europe are mostly of zoo-anthropogenic origin, but nevertheless they are among the most diverse plant communities of the world at small spatial scales, and they support a significant proportion of the biodiversity of the continent. Both agricultural intensification and abandonment of former dry grasslands caused dramatic losses in area and quality of this habitat type during recent decades. Here we report from the 7th European Dry Grassland Meeting, organised by the European Dry Grassland Group (EDGG) in Smolenice, Slovakia, in 2010. Under the motto ‘‘Succession, restoration and management of dry grasslands’’ one hundred researchers from throughout Europe discussed conservation issues of this threatened habitat type. We give a brief introduction to those nine articles that are included in this Special Feature. With contributions from many different countries and various dry grassland types, they address issues of conservation value, succession, management as well as regeneration and restoration. We conclude that the diversity of dry grasslands and their conservation problems require further research to develop adequate management techniques under changing frame conditions. However, also the frame conditions, such as the incentives for certain land use practices provided by the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union need to be addressed if long-term success in conservation of dry grasslands is intended.