Management of permanent set-aside on arable land in Sweden.
The course of succession following the set aside (land diversion) of farmland managed in different ways was studied at 6 sites throughout Sweden. The botanical composition was followed over a 10-year period. The management treatments involving the application of fertilizers and cutting were applied to plots sown with a cover crop and to plots in which the succession started from bare ground. Competitive interactions between species largely determined the successional course. The competitive success of species was related to the management practices applied but there were also interactions between management and site conditions. It is proposed that natural succession can be recommended on poor sites in combination with cutting, mainly to prevent the invasion of woody species. On fertile sites a cover crop should be used to suppress perennial weeds, and cutting is recommended mainly to increase species diversity.