In the middle of 19th century the area of meadows was at its largest in Finland, about 1.6 million hectares. Thereafter the meadow area has decreased dramatically. Finnish Environment Institute has led the inventory of traditional rural or agricultural biotopes in Finland since 1992. Until now the results have been published only in the regions of Satakunta, North Ostrobothnia and North Karelia. In Satakunta 280 sites of valuable traditional rural biotopes (1160 hectares) were found and most of them were grazed by cattle. Of these 39% (457 ha) were meadows including shore meadows. All meadows with the exception of shore meadows were very small (< 2 ha). Other traditional rural biotopes were wooded pastures (258 ha), grazed forests (183 ha) and some others (79 ha). The meadows were classified according to the physiognomic and floristic determinants. Nutrient-poor rocky meadows, nutrient-poor dry short herb meadows, dry grass meadows, dry grassherb meadows, scrub meadows and humid or moist meadows were rare in Satakunta. Mesophilous meadows were divided to short herb meadows, grass meadows and tall herb meadows and they covered altogether 96 ha (8%) in Satakunta. Grazed lake and river shore meadows covered about 110 ha (9,5%) and were quite often dominated by short sedges and grasses. Studied seashore meadows covered 188 ha, making 16 % of all valuable traditional rural biotopes in Satakunta. There were three very large seashore meadows in the Pori region. In the traditional rural biotopes of Satakunta 14 nationally threatened species were found.

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Annali di Botanica is published by the Department of Environmental Biology - University La Sapienza of Rome, Italy. The journal is printed by Sapienza Università Editrice – Sapienza Università di Roma.

ISSN 0365-0812 (print)

ISSN 2239-3129 (online)