Randu meadows - Latvia
Botanical reserve “Randu meadows” is situated on the northern coast of the Riga Gulf. The botanical reserve is a part of the North Vidzeme Biosphere Reserve. It represents about 200 ha of unique coastal meadows with high habitat and species diversity. There were recorded 531 plant species, 42 are rare and protected in Latvia, 2 species are on the EU Biotope Directive 92/43/EEC list. Man has participated in the development of these littoral meadows for hundreds of years, by cattle grazing and hay harvesting. Recently, the intensity of grazing and mowing have sharply decreased, and the meadows are gradually overgrowing by reeds and shrubs. Wild cattle herd was introduced for some time in part of the grassland area in order to prevent overgrowth of meadows.
General Characteristics, Purpose, History
Investigation of long-term changes in coastal meadow plant communities: natural succession, effects of management practice (mowing, spring burning, introduction of wild cows). Investigation of grass-dwelling arthropod communities as an indicator of the state of coastal meadow ecosystems.
The Randu Meadows are under special nature protection since 1962. In 1997 in was included in the North Vidzeme Biosphere Reserve. At present it has status of NATURA 2000 sites. Long-term studies were started in 1996.
Affiliation and Network Specific Information