Visions from nature

An urban hay meadow

By Marte Fandrem

Grønlia at Lade is a hay meadow more or less in the middle of the city Trondheim, which are remnants of the old cultural landscape at Lade. The area has been managed for several years now by the municipality and volunteers, and clearing and mowing is being done every year to maintain the open landscape.

Grønlia med Lade kirke i bakgrunnen
Grønlia with Lade church in the background. Photo: Marte Fandrem, NTNU University Museum. 15.06.2016 (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Colourful and species rich

The meadows are relatively species rich, with about 90 vascular plant species within 6 daa. You can for instance find Greater yellow-rattle (Rhinanthus angustifolius) in great amounts. The area is actually the only known, permanent occurence of the species in all of Mid-Norway. Other typical meadow species found here are Field scabious (Knautia arvensis), Meadow vetchling (Lathyrus pratensis), Bush vetch (Vicia sepium), Common toadflax (Linaria vulgaris)  and Common kidneyvetch (Anthyllis vulneraria).

Nærbilde av rundbelg (Anthyllis vulneraria)
Common kidneyvetch (Anthyllis vulneraria). Photo: Marte Fandrem, NTNU University Museum, 15.06.2016 (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Nærbilde av storengkall (Rhinanthus angustifolius)
Greater yellow-rattle (Rhinanthus angustifolius). Photo: Marte Fandrem, NTNU University Museum, 15.06.2016 (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Nærbilde av lintorskemunn (Linaria vulgaris)
Common toadflax (Linaria vulgaris). Photo: Marte Fandrem, NTNU University Museum, 15.06.2016 (CC BY-SA 4.0)

The meadow is also the only known, lasting location in Trondheim for the rare butterfly Small blue (Cupido minimus).

The NTNU University Museum has been involved with the management of Grønlia since 2009, then with surveys of the butterfly habitats, botanical inventory and recommendations for further management. The effects of management of the meadow has been monitored since then.

Beautiful June days at Grønlia

This years survey was completed during two days in June. It was especially interesting for me to participate, as I was involved with the volunteer work of mowing and clearing the meadow during my student days. Now I also got a chance of participating in the scientific work.

22 plots of 1×1 m was checked. In each of the plots all vascular plants and mosses were inventoried, and the frequence of each species registered. The plots were set 9 years ago, with small metal pipes in some of the corners to make it easier to relocate the plots with metal detector. Unfortunately, that was easier said than done. The soil in the steeper sections has obviously been moving over the last few years and there is also a lot of other metal pieces in the ground. We found them all in the end!

Foto av ramma brukt til Vegetasjonsanalyser, i en litt tørrere skråning
Vegetation analyses in a dry slope. Photo: Marte Fandrem, NTNU University Musuem, 15.06.2016 (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Waiting for the results

The results of this years survey is not ready yet, but for those who have seen the development of the meadow over the years, it is easy to see that they now are far more open than what they were 9 years ago. Thickets and bushes have lost ground several places, and indicator species of a ‘healthy’ meadow have increased in numbers.

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