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The vegetation succession on abandoned fields

, : The vegetation succession on abandoned fields. Memoranda Societatis pro Fauna et Flora Fennica 62(3): 83-87

A large area of agricultural land was left uncultivated as a result of the Field Reservation Act, passed in 1969 to reduce agricultural overproduction. The vegetation succession was studied in 1974 and 1983 in Central Finland on fields abandoned for 1 to 15 years. The fields were colonized by weeds typical of open cultivation. The plant communiites gradually became meadow-like, and after 10 years of secondary succession the proportion of large forbs (e.g. Filipendula ulmaria and Epilobium angustifolium) increased rapidly. The sequence of changes on hay fields was the same, except that annuals were almost lacking. Natural reforestation proceeded rather slowly, especially on plots where Elymus repens was dominant. Most of the woody plants grew close to the adjoining forest or open ditches.

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