Plant species richness and composition in the arable land of Kosovo
This study investigates today’s plant species richness and composition in cultivated and recently abandoned arable land of Kosovo. Relationships between these aspects of vegetation and both environmental features and agricultural management measures are studied at the regional and plot scale. In 2006, 432 vegetation relevés with a standard plot size of 25 m² were recorded in cultivated fields. In 2007, data collection focussed on 41 plots in arable fields that had been abandoned the year before. With respect to the environment, data analysis accounts for topography, soil base-richness and moisture, and geographic location. As to the management, crops and weed control are considered. A total number of 235 species was documented. In comparison to literature dating back to about 1980, the regional weed flora considerably changed. At the plot scale, today’s weed flora of Kosovo is fairly species-poor and species composition is rather uniform between plots. According to General Regression Model analyses, Indicator Species Analyses and Detrended Correspondence Analyses, species richness and composition mainly differ between crops and weed management, with highest mean species richness in recently abandoned and lowest in herbicide-treated maize fields.