Original scientific paper
Ecogeographical characteristics of red clover local population sites in north-western part of Croatia
2020, 21 (1) p. 135-150
Red clover, although primarily used for dairy cow feeding, can also repair soil structure, fix atmospheric nitrogen and prevent soil erosion. Until recently, the traditional cultivation of red clover in Croatia prevailed in suitable habitats. Abandoning of agricultural production is the reason of meadows succession process which can cause genetic erosion and threatens the survival of local population of red clover. Determining of sites according to their ecogeographical characteristics could help to improve the direction of action aimed at conservation of biological diversity of species in its natural habitats as well as the preservation of genetic resources and their use in breeding purposes. The aim of this research was to classify the sites of natural habitats of red clover local populations (under extensive agricultural production) in north-western part of Croatia on the basis of their ecogeographical characteristics. Data of geographical, pedological and climatological characteristics and floristic composition were collected at 18 sites and subjected to multivariate analysis. The main differences among sites were detected in geographical, pedological and climatological characteristics. Floristic structure of investigated sites were consisting of 151 plant species, including a large number of species of ruderal vegetation.