Twelve years' analysis of natural grassland and experimentally managed meadows have produced this unique set of data on the structures and physiological functions of primary producers, consumers and decomposers. Obtained during the 1973-1985 Ecosystem Study on Highland Meadows in Czechoslovakia, such original information is rare in scientific literature. The aim of the study was to define the functioning of these grasslands and their changes under different impact of man, and to examine the ecological function of those ecosystems in the intensively managed catchment area. Hence, this book contains deep analyses of soil microorganisms, their functions in decomposition and soil forming processes - leading to the evaluation of the whole carbon cycle - as well as dealing with nitrogen pathways in the experimental plots - resulting in precise determination of the full nitrogen cycle. Procedures used in practical agriculture, such as cutting, fertilization and renovation, have also been applied, producing evaluations from both ecological and economical view-points.
The book's integrated ecosystem approach to grasslands, its deep professional analyses in each section, along with the synthesis on each particular level and across all levels, renders it an invaluable, informative text, comprising extensive figures and tables and a substantial bibliography of world-wide sources.