Diversity in the Meadow

Project Management
Mag. Stefanie Pontasch, PhD
Mobil: 0680 2078728
E-Mail: s.pontasch(at)tiroler-umweltanwaltschaft.gv.at

Project Partner 
Local land holder and farmers

Project Period
01. September 2015 - 0000

Project Content and Intention:

In historical times, traditional agriculture unfolded diverse and species-rich landscapes. Today, the farming system experiences a shift towards optimization and mechanization resulting in an overall simplification of fields. Agriculture that uses intensive forms of cultivation (multiple cutting of hay meadows, use of fertilizer) creates conditions under which few species may persist. As a result, fauna and flora richness is threatened and colorful blooming and vivid landscapes have disappeared over the past decades.

To counteract the loss of diverse landscapes and loss of biodiversity, a habitat network of ecological valuable structures is needed such as lush flower meadows amidst the uniform green of intensive cultivated fields. These areas can serve as habitats or create a place of retreat for rare species, enable migrations between suitable habitats and are therefore essential for the protection of biodiversity. In addition, colorful flower meadows enhance scenic qualities of the landscape.  

The project aims at supporting the creation of species-rich flower meadows which can serve as landscape networking elements in our cultural landscape. By reducing the frequency of cutting and the use of fertilizer, formerly intensively cultivated fields are extensified and species –rich fields can (re)develop. Each plant species provides habitat, shelter and food source for at least ten species of animals, such as butterflies, honeybees, bumblebees and grasshoppers. Therefore, increased plant richness multiplies animal diversity and colorful, vivid and noisy flower meadows may persist on the long-term.


Specific Measures

·         Extensification (Reduction of cutting frequency and fertilization)

·         Seeding using site-specific seed materials

·         Establishing a method that is suited to (re)develop species-rich flower meadows



·         Comparing land preparation and seeding equipment: Flower meadow in Going am Wilden Kaiser

·         Establishing a flower meadow in Ebbs

·         Nature Monitoring Programme in Natters

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