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The role of natural and artificially established grasslands has dramatically changed in the last decades. With almost entirely their original role in forage production, grasslands have a lot of important qualities which can be of great value predominantly in non-for-
age uses, agricultural sustainability and environmental improvement, including maintenance of the present genetic resources of plants and animals.
In the Czech Republic there is a high proportion of cropland and a relatively low proportion of grasslands. Paradoxically, this is the reason why the importance of grasslands for non-forage uses is increasing. Grasslands have been playing an increasingly more important role in protection and formation of agricultural and non-agricultural landscape and in rehabilitation of localities disturbed by anthropogenic activities. Quite new is the utilization of grasslands in bioenergetics and rather specific is the use of grasslands for regeneration of man's physical and mental strengths (relaxation, sport).
Especially these alternative, but in no case secondary, functions are the topic of the professional talks of the 15th symposium EGF 2009. The present publication contains 134 contributions divided into three sections dealing with non-negotiable and alternative values of grasslands and also with methods of grassland protection. A special booklet contains summaries of all oral and poster presentations. Within the framework of mid-excursions participants will get familiar with methods of regeneration of grasslands and their non-traditional use.
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