Location of studied grassland sites (filled dots, n = 31) across the study area (Eastern Carpathians, Chernivtsi Region, Ukraine) and experimental design.
Physical-geographical zones: I plains (n = 12 grassland sites); II foothills (the Precarpathians) (n = 12 grassland sites); and III mountains (n = 7 grassland sites). Green areas show forest habitats; and white areas show unforested lands. The rivers Dniester, Prut, and Siret are major rivers of Chernivtsi Region. SOC, soil organic carbon. The map was created using QGIS 2.18.26 . Four plots (10 m × 10 m) per grassland site and three subplots (1 m × 1 m) within each plot were selected.