Journal of Vegetation Science

Cover image for Vol. 23 Issue 6

December 2012

Volume 23, Issue 6

Pages 1003–1199

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      Estimating species richness: still a long way off! (pages 1003–1005)

      Alessandro Chiarucci

      Version of Record online: 7 NOV 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12003

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      Xu et al., in this issue of the Journal of Vegetation Science, compare several species-richness estimators. All the non-parametric estimators, such as Chao and jackknife estimators, under-estimated the true number, whereas all the area-based models, based on species-area curves, over-estimated it. No reliable method yet exists to predict the number of species in an area that is appreciably larger than the one(s) sampled.

  2. Ordinary Articles

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      Assessing non-parametric and area-based methods for estimating regional species richness (pages 1006–1012)

      Han Xu, Shirong Liu, Yide Li, Runguo Zang and Fangliang He

      Version of Record online: 17 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01423.x

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      Six nonparametric methods underestimated the species richness, while six area-based methods overestimated the species richness. Nonparametric methods should not be used to estimate richness across heterogeneous landscapes but used in well-defined sampling areas. Jack2 is the best of the six nonparametric methods, while the logistic model and the MaxEnt method seem to be the best of the six area-based methods.

    2. Species presence/absence sometimes represents a plant community as well as species abundances do, or better (pages 1013–1023)

      J. Bastow Wilson

      Version of Record online: 8 JUN 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01430.x

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      Ecologists expend effort in vegetation surveys measuring, or more often guessing, the abundance of each species. They are usually wasting their time. Tests via stability of the results and correlation with the habitat shew that, except at a very fine scale, simple presence/absence usually gives as good a result, or sometimes one closer to the truth.

    3. Different types of sub-alpine grassland respond similarly to elevated nitrogen deposition in terms of productivity and sedge abundance (pages 1024–1034)

      Seraina Bassin, Juliane Schalajda, Andreas Vogel and Matthias Suter

      Version of Record online: 17 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01422.x

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      To study the effect of increased nitrogen (N) deposition on subalpine grassland, we carried out a nutrient addition experiment at ten sites in the Swiss Alps. We found that both Nardetum and Seslerietum pastures responded similarly to elevated N deposition with increased biomass production and higher sedge abundance; the latter being related to stronger phosphorus limitation in non-sedge species.

    4. Meta-analysis of ANPP and rain-use efficiency confirms indicative value for degradation and supports non-linear response along precipitation gradients in drylands (pages 1035–1050)

      Jan C. Ruppert, Alexander Holm, Sabine Miehe, Esteban Muldavin, Hennie A. Snyman, Karsten Wesche and Anja Linstädter

      Version of Record online: 17 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01420.x

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      The response of ANPP and rain-use efficiency (RUE) to different ecological parameters (climate, soil and land use) was tested by meta-analysis and linear-piecewise quantile regression. We found that ANPP was affected by recent and previous precipitation, land use, soil type and biome. ANPPmax and RUEmax showed a unimodal trend along a precipitation gradient, peaking around 200 mm·yr−1.

    5. No evidence of a trade-off between drought and shade tolerance in seedlings of six coastal desert shrub species in north-central Chile (pages 1051–1061)

      Karina Martínez-Tillería, Andrea P. Loayza, Darren R. Sandquist and Francisco A. Squeo

      Version of Record online: 22 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01427.x

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      This study examined how different levels of light and water affect survival and physiological responses of the entire plant in six species of shrubs. We found species-specific differences in the temporal pattern of mortality. In general, there was no evidence to support a trade-off between tolerance to drought and shade tolerance during early establishment of shrubs in the coastal desert.

    6. The performance of Mediterranean subshrubs depends more on microsite than on regional climate conditions (pages 1062–1070)

      Antonio Gazol and J. Julio Camarero

      Version of Record online: 17 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01429.x

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      In this study we demonstrate that the spatial pattern and plant performance of three Mediterranean subshrubs growing under contrasting climatic conditions partially depend on local variations and small-scale biotic interactions. Our results indicate that inter- and intraspecific interactions acting at local scales should be considered for understanding the responses of Mediterranean subshrubs to regional climate.

    7. Changes in plant species and functional composition with time since fire in two mediterranean climate plant communities (pages 1071–1081)

      Carl R. Gosper, Colin J. Yates and Suzanne M. Prober

      Version of Record online: 29 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01434.x

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      We tested whether Plant Functional Type (PFT) composition changes with time since fire in directions predicted through consideration of fire response traits. Changes were better predicted in a community competitively dominated by non-resprouting serotinous shrubs than one dominated by resprouting serotinous trees. The PFT model used appears suitable for broader application in non-resprouting serotinous shrub-dominated communities, but less so elsewhere.

    8. Disturbance drives phylogenetic community structure in coastal dune vegetation (pages 1082–1094)

      Ane Kirstine Brunbjerg, Finn Borchsenius, Wolf L. Eiserhardt, Rasmus Ejrnæs and Jens-Christian Svenning

      Version of Record online: 30 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01433.x

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      Our study for the first time investigates phylogenetic community structure of dune plant communities and evaluates the findings in a plant life strategy context. We find that phylogenetic community structure is clustered overall and that disturbance is the main underlying factor causing closely related species to co-occur. The disturbance at least partially reflects anthropogenic influences.

    9. Underdispersion of anti-herbivore defence traits and phylogenetic structure of cerrado tree species at fine spatial scale (pages 1095–1104)

      Priscilla P. Loiola, Igor A. Silva, Danilo M. Silva and Marco A. Batalha

      Version of Record online: 17 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01424.x

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      Trait related to herbivory defence, as specific leaf area, water content, leaf toughness, and leaf nutritional quality were underdispersed at fine spatial scale. General phylogenetic structure was also clustered. These patterns were not related to soil features, and we postulated that insect herbivory, when representing a great constraint to trees, could lead to functional and phylogenetic underdispersion.

    10. Functional trait state diversity of Andean forests in Venezuela changes with altitude (pages 1105–1113)

      Joost F. Duivenvoorden and Nidia L. Cuello A

      Version of Record online: 17 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01428.x

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      Community assembly theory predicts a decreasing functional diversity by environmental filtering upslope in Andean forests. Using two null model tests we report that the diversity in fruit size decreased upslope in forests of the Ramal de Guaramacal in the Venezuelan Andes, presumably related to lower upslope tree heights, increased selection for large seeds downslope, and upslope decreases of large-leaved taxa.

    11. An 11-yr exclosure experiment in a high-elevation island ecosystem: introduced herbivore impact on shrub species richness, seedling recruitment and population dynamics (pages 1114–1125)

      Severin David Howard Irl, Manuel Jonas Steinbauer, Wolfgang Babel, Carl Beierkuhnlein, Gesche Blume-Werry, Jana Messinger, Ángel Palomares Martínez, Stefan Strohmeier and Anke Jentsch

      Version of Record online: 17 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01425.x

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      We use an 11-yr exclosure experiment to estimate the effect of introduced herbivores on species richness, seedling recruitment and population dynamics of four shrub species endemic to the sub-alpine zone of La Palma, Canary Islands. Adenocarpus viscosus ssp. spartioides forms almost mono-dominate stands, although other shrub species are potentially present under herbivore exclusion and seem better adapted to the harsh high-elevation conditions.

    12. The importance of landscape structure for seed dispersal in rain forest fragments (pages 1126–1136)

      Flávia M. Jesus, Vânia R. Pivello, Sérgio T. Meirelles, Geraldo A.D.C. Franco and Jean Paul Metzger

      Version of Record online: 20 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01418.x

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      This study showed that the size and degree of connectivity of forest patches in a fragmented rainforest landscape resulted in distinct patterns of seed rain according to plant guilds. This is an issue relevant to the conservation and management of the landscape as it shows the importance of patch size and its spatial arrangement on promoting habitat connectivity and the flow of animal-dispersed seeds.

    13. Patterns of weed co-occurrence at the field and landscape level (pages 1137–1147)

      Sandrine Petit and Guillaume Fried

      Version of Record online: 16 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01421.x

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      Non-randomness in weed species co-occurrence was detected in the 20% of fields exhibiting high degree of environmental heterogeneity. This subset of fields partly drives the pattern of co-occurrence at the landscape scale. Weed co-occurrence is also strongly dependent on the degree of habitat specialization of individual weed species.

    14. Exclusion of root competition increases competitive abilities of subordinate plant species through root–shoot interactions (pages 1148–1158)

      P. Mariotte, A. Buttler, D. Johnson, A. Thébault and C. Vandenberghe

      Version of Record online: 30 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01432.x

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      In this study, we demonstrate that root competition exclusion leads to a change in the competitiveness of plants with subordinate species becoming more competitive. We show that belowground competition, through root-shoot interactions, is an important factor driving the competitive hierarchy of species and thus the findings make a major contribution to understanding species coexistence and plant community ecology.

    15. Forest fire history, aspen and goat willow in a Fennoscandian old-growth landscape: are current population structures a legacy of historical fires? (pages 1159–1169)

      Heini Lankia, Tuomo Wallenius, Gergely Várkonyi, Jari Kouki and Tord Snäll

      Version of Record online: 17 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01426.x

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      We show that the origin of mature aspens in boreal old-growth forests dates back to a period of frequent fires in the 1800s. Thus, aspen trees are much older than previously thought. Also goat willows have attained unexpectedly high ages, but unlike aspens, they also regenerate in absence of fires. Current lack of fires may eliminate aspens from old-growth forests.

    16. How sampling affects estimates of demographic parameters (pages 1170–1179)

      Mark R. Lesser and Simon Brewer

      Version of Record online: 17 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01419.x

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      Accurate estimation of population growth parameters is critical for both ecological understanding and resource management. Results are encouraging in that they indicate that moderate levels of sampling will reliably estimate population growth parameters. Results also highlight the fact that population structure can play a major role in sampling accuracy and needs to be considered when designing demographic studies.

    17. The bivariate distribution characteristics of spatial structure in natural Korean pine broad-leaved forest (pages 1180–1190)

      Yuanfa Li, Gangying Hui, Zhonghua Zhao and Yanbo Hu

      Version of Record online: 28 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01431.x

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      The bivariate distribution of the structural parameters quantifies the two-pair relationships among dominance, uniform angle index and mingling. The quantitative relationships let us further understanding the microenvironments that trees live in and is helpful to precise selection of feller lumber in continue cover forest, and may also aid in modelling and reconstructing forests.

  3. Forum

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    2. Commentary
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      Tropical forest biomass estimation and the fallacy of misplaced concreteness (pages 1191–1196)

      David B. Clark and James R. Kellner

      Version of Record online: 29 AUG 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01471.x

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      Despite the importance of measuring tropical forest biomass, the accuracy of biomass estimates is poorly constrained due to fundamental weaknesses in the design and implementation of field studies. We identify these issues and propose a radical paradigm shift to advance tropical forest biomass research to a firmer theoretical and empirical basis.

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      Where you search is what you get: literature mining – Google Scholar versus Web of Science using a data set from a literature search in vegetation science (pages 1197–1199)

      Michael Beckmann and Henrik von Wehrden

      Version of Record online: 27 JUL 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01454.x

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      We compared the performance of Google Scholar and the Web of Science using a dataset from a quantitative review. Search results acquired through Google Scholar contained significantly more relevant results than those delivered by the Web of Science. Due to its full text search capabilities, Google Scholar should be recognized more as a useful search tool by the scientific community.