Vegetation of the Tihany Peninsula in Hungary has undergone serious changes caused
by heavy trampling and overgrazing during the last century. In Tihany, the vegetation
started to change towards anthropogenic associations. After grazing ceased, vegetation
started to rearrange. There were no significant changes in species composition on
trampled areas (on the ridge of the hill) between the examinations in 1994 and 2002.
As a result of ceased grazing, the proportion of natural species was high in the grasslands
of the S Nyereg Hill in 1994, while during the 2002 investigations, forest and scrub
expanded at a rate that did not leave space for grassland on shallow soils and slope
steppe (closing dry grasslands on hilly areas). The coverage of Elymus repens decreased,
while Festuca species increased. The possible effects of plant-cover change on soil
loss were examined with the USLE (Universal Soil Loss Equation) model on the sloping
areas. Eliminating harmful effects can decrease soil degradation, but the original
state of soils can be restored only after a long period (hundreds of years). Further
degradation of soils assists the expansion of drought-resistant species and weeds
in the associations. In 2007, soil-thickness measurements and on-site examinations
were carried out to check the results of the former surveys and modeling.