Written by: Alessandro De Luca
Many golf courses in Italy are interested in reducing mowed areas and replacing them with low-maintenance habitats such as mulched beds, naturalized roughs and wildflower banks to reduce inputs and increase biodiversity. In collaboration with Padua University we conducted a field study to investigate vegetation structure and botanical composition of recently naturalized rough. In addition, a three year study in two selected areas of the naturalized rough was carried out to evaluate the efficacy of different cultural practices in increasing plant population.
According to other studies, the results collected at Montecchia suggest that cultural practices are necessary to increase biodiversity, including number of species and complexity of botanical composition. In particular, the study revealed that once per year cut with biomass removal followed by verti-cutting is a good combination of cultural practices.