Nomenclature: Tutin et al.(1993).
Plant traits and functional types in response to reduced disturbance in a semi-natural grassland
Article first published online: 24 FEB 2009
2005 IAVS - the International Association of Vegetation Science
Journal of Vegetation Science
Volume 16, Issue 2, pages 151–160, April 2005
How to Cite
Louault, F., Pillar, V.D., Aufrère, J., Garnier, E. and Soussana, J.-F. (2005), Plant traits and functional types in response to reduced disturbance in a semi-natural grassland. Journal of Vegetation Science, 16: 151–160. doi: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2005.tb02350.x
- Issue published online: 24 FEB 2009
- Article first published online: 24 FEB 2009
- Received 23 September 2004; Accepted 20 January 2005. Co-ordinating Editor: M.P. Austin.
- Leaf trait;
- Plant attribute
Abstract. Question: How do functional types respond to contrasting levels of herbage use in temperate and fertile grasslands?
Location: Central France (3°1’E, 45°43’N), 870 m a.s.l.
Methods: Community structure and the traits of dominant plant species were evaluated after 12 years of contrasted grazing and mowing regimes in a grazing trial, comparing three levels of herbage use (high, medium and low).
Results and Conclusions: Of 22 measured traits (including leaf traits, shoot morphology and composition, phenology), seven were significantly affected by the herbage use treatment. A decline in herbage use reduced individual leaf mass, specific leaf area and shoot digestibility, but increased leaf C and dry matter contents. Plants were taller, produced larger seeds and flowered later under low than high herbage use. Nine plant functional response types were identified by multivariate optimization analysis; they were based on four optimal traits: leaf dry matter content, individual leaf area, mature plant height and time of flowering. In the high-use plots, two short and early flowering types were co-dominant, one competitive, grazing-tolerant and moderately grazing-avoiding, and one grazing-avoiding but not -tolerant. Low-use plots were dominated by one type, neither hardly grazing-avoiding nor grazing-tolerant, but strongly competitive for light.