How does grassland management affect physical and biochemical properties of temperate grassland soils? A review study
Increasing management intensity of grassland through increased grazing intensity, mowing frequency and fertilizer input have attracted more attention to the consequences of grassland management practices on reduced soil quality and grassland yield. Given the importance of soil attributes in generating resilience in soil‐vegetation‐livestock systems, a better insight of the dynamic of these complex systems is warranted. The maintenance of proper soil physical, chemical and biological properties indicates the basis of a resilient grassland system. This review summarizes research approaches and outcomes of the effects of grazing, mowing, and applying fertilizer on soil physical and biochemical characteristics with the aim of providing useful guidelines to researchers, land managers, and policy makers to maintaining and improving soil attributes and grassland productivity. Based on the studied literatures, choice of management intensity on grasslands appears to be more critical. Light to moderate grassland management intensities have positive effects on soil properties, but frequent or incorrect management practices may cause undesirable consequences. Various factors such as the geographic region, and plant group functions additionally could have an effect on management regimes, so it can be concluded that optimal management method should be adapted to regional and local circumstances.