Semi natural vegetation for urban environments


Based on concepts and theories in plant community ecology supplemented by experimental field studies, this research contributes to new perspectives on the possibilities for and limitations of creating and managing semi-natural forb vegetation.

The overall aim is to improve current understanding on community development of low resource requiring, colourful forb vegetation as one possible way to link recreational values, aesthetical preferences and herbaceous vegetation with habitat requirements for diverse flora and fauna in urban and suburban environments. If such communities are based on local forbs there is a continuum in anthropogenic intervention from designed and intensively maintained to semi-natural herbaceous vegetation.

The main study site was initiated in 2010 at the University of Copenhagen research farm. The overall aim with the Taastrup field experiment is to create a dense and structurally diverse multi-layered forb community to explore potentials and limitation of 1) establishment on previously cultivated soil (sandy clay loam); 2) the potential of regionally commonly found species and 3) the possibility of transplanting a weed resistant, high-diversity forb dominated vegetation similar to a species rich herbaceous vegetation. Establishment was done through high-density seedling plug transplantation. To obtain a high visual performance species were selected for variation in leaf colour and shape, colourful and eye capturing features (flower, stem, leaf) and structural interest during winter months. Other selection criteria were variation in life-form (annual, biennial, perennial), regenerative strategy (seed/vegetative) and growth-form (rosette, hemi rosette, erosulate). Additionally the forb community should provide a long flowering season (May-September) and include some species considered important as nectar or pollen sources for insects.

Publications and output

Find previous and recent research outputs on Mona’s and Marian’s researcher profiles.