Journal of Vegetation Science

Cover image for Vol. 23 Issue 5

October 2012

Volume 23, Issue 5

Pages 805–1002

  1. Featured Papers

    1. Top of page
    2. Featured Papers
    3. Original Articles
    4. Report
    1. You have free access to this content
      Assessing species and community functional responses to environmental gradients: which multivariate methods? (pages 805–821)

      Michael Kleyer, Stéphane Dray, Francescode Bello, Jan Lepš, Robin J. Pakeman, Barbara Strauss, Wilfried Thuiller and Sandra Lavorel

      Version of Record online: 19 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01402.x

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      We compare seven multivariate methods suitable to determine the functional response of species to environmental change. The selection of the most appropriate method depends on the research question, i.e. the response of average trait expressions of communities, the coexistence of different life histories or the response of functional groups. R-scripts and a tutorial for each method are available in the Appendix.

    2. You have free access to this content
      Environmental conditions and biotic interactions acting together promote phylogenetic randomness in semi-arid plant communities: new methods help to avoid misleading conclusions (pages 822–836)

      Santiago Soliveres, Rubén Torices and Fernando T. Maestre

      Version of Record online: 26 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01410.x

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      We jointly evaluated environmental conditions and interactions among plants, at the community and patch scales, as drivers of the phylogenetic structure of semi-arid steppes. The opposed effects and the interactions between them (facilitation increased phylodiversity while higher rainfall decreased both phylodiversity and the degree of microhabitat amelioration provided by nurse plants) caused random phylogenetic structures in most studied communities.

  2. Original Articles

    1. Top of page
    2. Featured Papers
    3. Original Articles
    4. Report
    1. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Mechanisms promoting tree species co-existence: Experimental evidence with saplings of subtropical forest ecosystems of China (pages 837–846)

      Anne C. Lang, Werner Härdtle, Martin Baruffol, Martin Böhnke, Helge Bruelheide, Bernhard Schmid, Henrik von Wehrden and Goddert von Oheimb

      Version of Record online: 20 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01403.x

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      In a field experiment, we manipulated the local neighbourhood of saplings of four species and surveyed tree sapling growth and crown architecture. Effects of species composition and species identity on growth rates and crown architectural variables point to niche separation as a mechanism of species coexistence, while effects of species richness were not yet prominent at the sapling life stage.

    2. Rain forest understorey ferns facilitate tree seedling survival under animal non-trophic stress (pages 847–857)

      Guo-Zhang Michael Song, David J. Yates and David Doley

      Version of Record online: 7 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01398.x

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      An understorey fern facilitates tree seedling survival through reducing nontrophic disturbances of birds and litter stress. Our results show that the net effect of plant-plant interactions is subject to change if additional species are involved. In addition to trophic effects, nontrophic effects of animals can be significant forces influencing interactions between plants.

    3. Frost as a limiting factor for recruitment and establishment of early development stages in an alpine glacier foreland? (pages 858–868)

      Silvia Marcante, Angela Sierra-Almeida, Joachim P. Spindelböck, Brigitta Erschbamer and Gilbert Neuner

      Version of Record online: 19 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01411.x

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      During and after germination frost resistance of glacier foreland species may not suffice to survive summer frosts. This occasionally may explain high seedling mortality rates. Frost resistance decreased from dry (−19 °C) to imbibed (−8 °C) and further to germinated seeds (−3.2 °C) and was lowest in seedlings and juveniles (−2.5 °C). Pioneer seedlings were significantly less frost resistant than later successional species.

    4. Relationship of kinds of seed dormancy with habitat and life history in the Southern Kalahari flora (pages 869–879)

      Martijn Kos, Carol C. Baskin and Jerry M. Baskin

      Version of Record online: 18 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01415.x

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      For the Southern Kalahari flora we asked if kinds of seed dormancy differ in life history traits and if they are involved in environmental filtering. Life history traits, but not soil texture, had significant effects in multinomial regression models predicting the presence of kind of dormancy. Kinds of seed dormancy apparently don't play a direct role in habitat filtering here.

    5. Are abandoned wooded pastures suitable refugia for forest species? (pages 880–891)

      Jaroslav Vojta and Lucie Drhovská

      Version of Record online: 5 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01399.x

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      We compared ungrazed ancient forests with abandoned pastures. We found that the abandoned wood-pastures and the pastures that were originally without wood lack nearly the same set of forest species. Species richness in both types of pastures was dependent on the distance from ungrazed forests. Therefore, we suggest that former grazing in forests led to local extinction of forest species.

    6. Fifty years of natural succession in Swiss forest reserves: changes in stand structure and mortality rates of oak and beech (pages 892–905)

      Brigitte Rohner, Christof Bigler, Jan Wunder, Peter Brang and Harald Bugmann

      Version of Record online: 27 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01408.x

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      We studied 50 years of oak-beech stand dynamics based on repeated inventory data from Swiss forest reserves along a large environmental gradient. Stand basal area increased over time, whereas tree density decreased. Mixed-effects models predicted higher mortality with increased stand basal area for oak but not for beech. Precipitation had a stronger effect on mortality of beech than of oak. Photograph: M. Bolliger, FOEN.

    7. Scale-dependent responses of species richness to experimental manipulation of productivity and disturbance in Californian coastal grasslands (pages 906–918)

      Brody Sandel and Jeffrey D. Corbin

      Version of Record online: 14 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01406.x

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      We showed that experimental disturbance and reverse fertilization treatments can have scale-dependent effects on grassland species richness, even at small (0.016 – 4 m2) scales. Richness responses at any one scale were idiosyncratic among sites and years, but characteristics of the species-area relationship were more predictable and consistent. We recommend increased focus on responses of the species-area relationship to experimental manipulations.

    8. Grassland diversity under changing productivity and the underlying mechanisms – results of a 10-yr experiment (pages 919–930)

      Jaan Liira, Nele Ingerpuu, Rein Kalamees, Mari Moora, Meelis Pärtel, Kersti Püssa, Elle Roosaluste, Liina Saar, Riin Tamme, Kristjan Zobel and Martin Zobel

      Version of Record online: 26 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01409.x

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      In the 10-yr grassland management experiment, the sugar addition treatment caused the reduction of productivity without triggering the community divergence, while fertilization resulted in decreased richness, increased beta diversity and dominance of species with light-competition traits. We conclude that short-term responses of the vegetation are driven by the altered competitive intensity, while long-term dynamics are dispersal-limited.

    9. Is foliar flammability of woody species related to time since fire and herbivory in northwest Patagonia, Argentina? (pages 931–941)

      Melisa Blackhall, Estela Raffaele and Thomas T. Veblen

      Version of Record online: 19 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01405.x

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      We hypothesize that variability in plant traits related to time since last fire and to herbivory by cattle may affect foliar flammability, thus providing a flammability-promoting mechanism operating at the level of individual plants. In northwestern Patagonia, Argentina, plant foliar traits vary between recently burned and unburned sites, and these variations may enhance foliar flammability in shrubland communities.

    10. Scale dependence of vegetation–environment relationships: a meta-analysis of multivariate data (pages 942–951)

      Andrew Siefert, Catherine Ravenscroft, David Althoff, Juan C. Alvarez-Yépiz, Benjamin E. Carter, Kelsey L. Glennon, J. Mason Heberling, In Su Jo, Alyssa Pontes, Amy Sauer, Adam Willis and Jason D. Fridley

      Version of Record online: 29 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01401.x

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      We conducted a global meta-analysis of vegetation studies and found that the relative importance of different environmental factors as determinants of plant community composition varied with spatial scale. In particular, the importance of climate factors relative to edaphic factors increased with increasing spatial extent and grain, with scale thresholds of about 2000 km2 for extent and 300 m2 for grain.

    11. The importance of plant life form on spatial associations along a subtropical coastal dune gradient (pages 952–961)

      Camila T. Castanho, Alexandre A. Oliveira and Paulo Inácio Prado

      Version of Record online: 2 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01414.x

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      We investigated the spatial association between isolated adult trees and understory plants from distinct life-forms. While most of the understory life-forms were neutral to negatively associated with adult trees, young trees were positively associated with them. These results indicate a positive feedback between trees that potentially explain the transition between open vegetation to forest in subtropical coastal dunes.

    12. Community (re)organization in an experimentally fragmented forest landscape: insights from occupancy–scale patterns of common plant species (pages 962–969)

      John W. Morgan and Brad J. Farmilo

      Version of Record online: 29 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01412.x

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      How habitat fragmentation impacts common species are still poorly understood. We use the Wog Wog Habitat Fragmentation Experiment to examine the response of 22 common plant species to fragmentation. Using occupancy-scale curves, we show that many species became more common in small remnants. These habitats are likely altered (positively) by changed environmental filters moreso than large patches.

    13. Grazing networks provide useful functional connectivity for plants in fragmented systems (pages 970–977)

      Alistair G. Auffret, Reto Schmucki, Josefin Reimark and Sara A.O. Cousins

      Version of Record online: 29 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01413.x

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      Livestock from a rotational grazing network were found to provide functional connectivity via seeds dispersed in their manure. Plants apparently adapted to a variety of seed dispersal vectors were moved by the livestock, and the similarity of the dispersed fraction of species was higher than the non-dispersed fraction in the established vegetation of islands connected by movement.

    14. Effect of intra-seasonal variability on vegetation data (pages 978–984)

      Marie Vymazalová, Irena Axmanová and Lubomír Tichý

      Version of Record online: 18 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01416.x

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      We analysed the effect of intra-seasonal variability on the pattern of species composition, richness, number of unrecorded species, plant life forms and covers of individual species and layers. We tested two datasets of permanent plots: Central European deciduous forests and dry grasslands. We conclude that before analyzing vegetation-plot data, large databases should be carefully stratified according to date of sampling.

    15. Distribution and richness of aquatic plants across Europe and Mediterranean countries: patterns, environmental driving factors and comparison with total plant richness (pages 985–997)

      Eglantine Chappuis, Enric Ballesteros and Esperança Gacia

      Version of Record online: 18 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01417.x

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      We explore the geographic patterns of γ-diversity of aquatic plants and identify driving factors. Southern and Western Europe are biodiversity hot spots, although no clear latitudinal species richness patterns were found. The relative abundance of hydrophytes over helophytes increases at higher latitudes, which correlates with greater water abundance at northern latitudes and with water scarcity at southern latitudes.

  3. Report

    1. Top of page
    2. Featured Papers
    3. Original Articles
    4. Report
    1. Review of ‘The Plant List, a working list of all plant species’ (pages 998–1002)

      Jesse M. Kalwij

      Version of Record online: 27 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01407.x

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      In this review I evaluate the advantages and limitations of The Plant List (—an online database of plant names aiming to be comprehensive for all described plant species. The combination of being near comprehensive, a straight-forward web interface, and the option of downloading search results makes it a valuable resource of information for a wide range of plant ecologists.