Journal of Vegetation Science

Cover image for Vol. 24 Issue 3

May 2013

Volume 24, Issue 3

Pages 415–588

  1. Commentaries

    1. Top of page
    2. Commentaries
    3. Original Articles
    1. You have free access to this content
      Successional convergence, stochastic assembly and the future of tropical forests (pages 415–416)

      Jason D. Fridley

      Version of Record online: 2 APR 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12056

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      In this issue of the Journal of Vegetation Science, Dent et al. take advantage of a century-long chronosequence of forest succession in central Panama, and highlight a lack of convergence to the tree composition of old growth stands. Does this suggest tropical forests assemble randomly, or is this an expected consequence of high diversity and patchy recruitment?

    2. You have free access to this content
      Life at the edge, cooperation in Antarctica (pages 417–418)

      Ragan M. Callaway

      Version of Record online: 2 APR 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12070

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      Molina-Montenegro and colleagues extend the study of plant-plant interactions on stress gradients to extremes - the moss and lichen-communities of Antarctica. There the importance of facilitation was similar to that at the extreme ends of alpine gradients around the world. In contrast to recent theory and case studies in other systems, facilitative effects did not wane in extremely stressful conditions.

  2. Original Articles

    1. Top of page
    2. Commentaries
    3. Original Articles
    1. Inter-specific and intra-specific trait variation along short environmental gradients in an old-growth temperate forest (pages 419–428)

      Sébastien Auger and Bill Shipley

      Version of Record online: 29 AUG 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01473.x

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      The relative importance of intraspecific and interspecific trait variation occurring along environmental gradients will depend on the length of the environmental gradient. Using vegetation occurring along a very short environmental gradient, restricting sampling to tree saplings, and measuring 15 functional traits, we found that interspecific differences were still the major source of variation.

    2. Limited effects of dominant species population source on community composition during community assembly (pages 429–440)

      David J. Gibson, Sara G. Baer, Ryan P. Klopf, Lewis K. Reed, Ben R. Wodika and Jason E. Willand

      Version of Record online: 4 SEP 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01475.x

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      We tested the applicability of the extended phenotype hypothesis in a diverse, assembling grassland community. Using data from the first 4 yr of an experimental prairie restoration we show that plant community composition and structure was more strongly affected by subordinate species seed mixture than the source of dominant species (cultivar or non-cultivar).

    3. Do plant functional traits determine spatial pattern? A test on species-rich shrublands, Western Australia (pages 441–452)

      George L.W. Perry, Neal J. Enright, Ben P. Miller and Byron B. Lamont

      Version of Record online: 27 SEP 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01476.x

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      Spatial pattern in plant communities is the combined outcome of many biological and physical processes. We evaluated whether fine-scale spatial patterns are predictable from species functional traits such as their regenerative response to fire and found that within and between site heterogeneity may mask the deterministic effects of species functional traits. Our findings re-emphasise the difficulties in uni-causally linking pattern and process.

    4. Diversity–stability relationships in plant communities of contrasting habitats (pages 453–462)

      A.T. Kuiters

      Version of Record online: 7 SEP 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01478.x

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      Diversity-stability relationships were studied in naturally assembled plant communities in coastal dunes, peatlands and marshlands in the Netherlands. Species-rich plots were more stable in terms of species composition and year-to-year variation in species abundances and total species abundances. Abiotic factors (soil nitrogen and moisture) explained only a small fraction of observed variation in species dynamics.

    5. Positive interactions between the lichen Usnea antarctica (Parmeliaceae) and the native flora in Maritime Antarctica (pages 463–472)

      Marco A. Molina-Montenegro, Natalia Ricote-Martínez, Carlos Muñoz-Ramírez, Susana Gómez-González, Cristian Torres-Díaz, Cristian Salgado-Luarte and Ernesto Gianoli

      Version of Record online: 25 SEP 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01480.x

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      We demonstrated the presence of facilitation in the Antarctic environment by recording a greater number of species and higher survival of Deschampsia associated with U. antarctica cushions than outside. On the other hand, our result indicated that cushions ameliorated the extreme abiotic conditions of Antarctic environment. Thus, cushions of U. antarctica may be a key component structuring the Antarctic landscape and maintaining local species richness.

    6. Facilitation by tussock-forming species on seedling establishment collapses in an extreme drought year in a post-mined Sphagnum peatland (pages 473–483)

      Asuka Koyama and Shiro Tsuyuzaki

      Version of Record online: 5 SEP 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01474.x

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      We tested the facilitation effect of tussock-forming species on seedling establishment of perennial herbaceous species in a post-mined Sphagnum peatland. Our results showed that the facilitation effect collapsed in an extreme drought year and its effect varied among seedling species having different germination phenologies. These suggest that variation in facilitation effects by early colonizers can drive plant community composition.

    7. Improving methods in gap ecology: revisiting size and shape distributions using a model selection approach (pages 484–495)

      Renato Augusto F. de Lima, Paulo Inácio Prado, Adriana Maria Z. Martini, Leandro J. Fonseca, Sérgius Gandolfi and Ricardo R. Rodrigues

      Version of Record online: 1 OCT 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01483.x

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      We revisited gap size and shape distributions, two important forest descriptors, and showed that size distribution was Log-normal independently of forest type or gap delimitation method and could be related to random rates of gap expansion and closure.Basic geometric forms, particularly the ellipse, were poor descriptors of gap shape that might be more precisely described by fractal objects.

    8. Establishment and spatial associations of recruits in meadow gaps (pages 496–505)

      Pavel Fibich, Alena Vítová, Petr Macek and Jan Lepš

      Version of Record online: 29 OCT 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01486.x

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      We analysed changes in spatial pattern of recruits during colonization of artificial gaps. Seedling emergence, highly outnumbering slow vegetative sprouting, increased during vegetation season, mainly thanks to seed rain. Recruit emergence shifted from gap centre to gap borders during season. Recruit clumping at larger scales (>20 mm) supports environmentally driven establishment, whereas lack of very close (<5–9 mm) neighbours suggests competition.

    9. Does soil nitrogen availability mediate the response of grassland composition to water regime? (pages 506–517)

      Yoseph N. Araya, David J. Gowing and N. Dise

      Version of Record online: 28 SEP 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01481.x

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      Hydrologically defined patterns of species coexistence in a flood plain meadow at Cricklade North National Nature Reserve, Wiltshire, UK. Up to 40 species per square meter quadrat have been recorded in the site. Using a combination of field, mesocosm and laboratory experiments we demonstrate the sensitivity of soil nitrogen mineralization to subtle gradients of water regime and why; as well as the correlation of plant distribution to soil nitrogen availability. Such knowledge is useful for understanding species coexistence as well as guiding conservation management of species-rich floodplain meadows. Photo credit: Dr. Mike Dodd

    10. Effects of artificially varying amounts of rainfall on two semi-natural grassland types (pages 518–529)

      P. Holub, M. Fabšičová, I. Tůma, J. Záhora and K. Fiala

      Version of Record online: 24 SEP 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01487.x

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      We conducted a manipulative experiment for simulating of three levels of precipitation input (50%, 100% and 150%) in two seminatural grassland types. Wetter, species-poor mountain grasslands will probably show smaller changes to expected climate changes in ANPP, species number and abundance than lowland grasslands, characterized by dry acidophilous vegetation, with higher species richness and higher abundance of subordinate species.

    11. Secondary forests of central Panama increase in similarity to old-growth forest over time in shade tolerance but not species composition (pages 530–542)

      Daisy H. Dent, Saara J. DeWalt and Julie S. Denslow

      Version of Record online: 3 OCT 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01482.x

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      The conservation potential of secondary forests depends on how rapidly and predictably tree communities reassemble in regenerating forests. Our data from secondary forests in central Panama suggest that changes in species composition over succession are unpredictable, but functional composition follows a more deterministic and predictable trajectory with convergence on old-growth over time. The image, which shows Charles Lindbergh flying over Gatun Lake, Panama in 1928, was one of many aerial images used to age forests in this study.

    12. Interactions between overstorey and understorey vegetation along an overstorey compositional gradient (pages 543–552)

      Samuel F. Bartels and Han Y.H. Chen

      Version of Record online: 2 OCT 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01479.x

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      Assessment of the hierarchical order of interactions among forest layers showed that overstory broadleaf abundance, through its influence on soil nutrients, promotes cover and richness of shrub and herb layer species, but limits bryophytes and lichens. Shrub layer facilitates or is tolerated by herb layer species, but cover and richness of shrub and herb layers adversely affect bryophytes and lichens.

    13. Importance of regional climates for plant species distribution patterns in moist Afromontane forest (pages 553–568)

      Christine B. Schmitt, Feyera Senbeta, Tadesse Woldemariam, Michael Rudner and Manfred Denich

      Version of Record online: 27 SEP 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01477.x

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      This study assessed how plant species distribution patterns are linked to altitude, regional climate and geographic location in the Ethiopian moist montane forests. We show that the altitudinal effect on species diversity is strongly modified by seasonal variations in precipitation and temperature regimes, which are related to the geographic location of the different forest areas in Ethiopia.

    14. Advanced snowmelt affects vegetative growth and sexual reproduction of Vaccinium myrtillus in a sub-alpine heath (pages 569–579)

      Renato Gerdol, Chiara Siffi, Paola Iacumin, Matteo Gualmini and Marcello Tomaselli

      Version of Record online: 23 AUG 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01472.x

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      We manipulated snow cover in a sub-alpine heath (Figure). Removing snow reduced growth and flowering of Vaccinium myrtillus in years when the plants experienced spring frosts. However, advanced snowmelt will not decrease Vaccinium cover because of its capacity to recover vegetatively from frost injury and because sexual reproduction plays a minor role for propagating ericaceous shrubs in closed heath communities.

    15. Seedling emergence and growth of Quercus spp. following severe drought effects on a Pinus sylvestris canopy (pages 580–588)

      Lucía Galiano, Jordi Martínez-Vilalta, Màrcia Eugenio, Íñigo Granzow-de la Cerda and Francisco Lloret

      Version of Record online: 27 SEP 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01485.x

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      Despite increased focus on climate-related forest dieoff, studies of the effects on regeneration processes following extreme drought remain scarce. Drought-induced canopy losses in a Pinus sylvestris L. forest appear not to be compensated by its own regeneration. In contrast, enhanced growth responses of a pre-established seedling bank of Quercus spp. could still contribute to accelerate forest dynamics under drier conditions.