Journal of Vegetation Science

Cover image for Vol. 25 Issue 3

May 2014

Volume 25, Issue 3

Pages 615–911

  1. Commentary

    1. Top of page
    2. Commentary
    3. Original Articles
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  2. Original Articles

    1. Top of page
    2. Commentary
    3. Original Articles
    1. Genetic and ecological consequences of interactions between three banksias in mediterranean-type shrubland (pages 617–626)

      Tianhua He and Byron B. Lamont

      Version of Record online: 1 AUG 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12113

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      Through investigating patterns of local abundance, mortality after environmental stress, and microsatellite allelic richness, we revealed genetic or ecological consequences arising from the interspersion of three co-occurring banksias species. Mechanisms of coexistence and competition among plant species may operate at several genetic scales, and that subtle genotypic variation is of potential importance in maintaining coexistence among ecologically matched species.

    2. Environmental determinism and neutrality in vegetation at millennial time scales (pages 627–635)

      Alexander Correa-Metrio, Jorge A. Meave, Socorro Lozano-García and Mark B. Bush

      Version of Record online: 29 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12129

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      Through the use of variance ratios and regression analyses, we demonstrate that, at millennial time scales, vegetation dynamics are mostly dominated by environemntal factors. However, our analyses suggest that, even though neutrality does not seem to have played a major role at struturing vegetation, it has probaly been of critical importance for preventing competitive exclusion among taxa.

    3. Endozoochorous seed dispersal and germination strategies of Serengeti plants (pages 636–647)

      T. Michael Anderson, Martin Schütz and Anita C. Risch

      Version of Record online: 1 AUG 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12110

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      In Serengeti National Park rates of seed germination from dung (endozoochory) and seed germination from soil showed opposite patterns across a gradient from short-grass, grazed to tall-grass, fire-prone sites. The height and composition of plants germinating from dung and soils were also surprisingly distinct, suggesting endozoochory is an important ecological and evolutionary mechanism in savannas dominated by large mammalian herbivores.

    4. Does competition for pollinators contribute to structuring Erica communities? (pages 648–656)

      A. Heystek and A. Pauw

      Version of Record online: 29 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12127

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      We investigate the patterns and processes of pollination as one of the biotic factors structuring plant communities. In some regions of the fynbos biome, Erica communities show patterns of overdispersion, in terms of pollination syndromes, compared to null communities. Transplant experiments with bird-pollinated Erica species show that this may result from interspecific competition for pollination services.

    5. Plant species size and density-dependent effects on growth and survival (pages 657–667)

      Brandon S. Schamp and Lonnie W. Aarssen

      Version of Record online: 16 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12135

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      Evidence suggests that larger plant species are better competitors for aboveground resources; however, smaller plant species are more numerous and make up the bulk of species in most communities. Using a glasshouse experiment, we demonstrate that large species suffer more under intraspecific competition, a pattern that diminishes any size advantage in interspecific competition.

    6. The relative importance of solar radiation and soil origin in cactus seedling survivorship at two spatial scales: plant association and microhabitat (pages 668–680)

      Juan H. García-Chávez, Carlos Montaña, Yareni Perroni, Vinicio J. Sosa and José B. García-Licona

      Version of Record online: 16 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12139

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      Factors that influence cactus seedling differ at the spatial scales of microhabitat and plant association. At the microhabitat scale, seedling survivorship depends more on the intensity of solar radiation than on soil fertility. At the plant-association scale, soil seems to play a more important role for the survivorship of the studied cactus species.

    7. The limited role of snow water in the growth and development of ephemeral plants in a cold desert (pages 681–690)

      Lian-Lian Fan, Li-Song Tang, Lin-Feng Wu, Jian Ma and Yan Li

      Version of Record online: 10 SEP 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12121

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      Conventional wisdom has it that ephemeral plants in Gurbantonggut Desert mainly depend on snow-melted water to grow. Our results show that snow water is important for ephemeral plants, but not that important. Its role is limited to seedling establishment. Plant growth after then mainly depends on the rainfall of the growing season, not on snow-melted water.

    8. An early forest inventory indicates high accuracy of forest composition data in pre-settlement land survey records (pages 691–702)

      R. Terrail, D. Arseneault, M.-J. Fortin, S. Dupuis and Y. Boucher

      Version of Record online: 16 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12142

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      Surveyors mandated to divide the public lands prior to settlement in Eastern Canada described the forest composition by listing tree taxa in their notebooks. Using an early forest inventory as a validation dataset, we show that these archives allow accurate reconstructions of presettlement taxa prevalence and dominance and associated spatial patterns across landscapes.

    9. Trait variability differs between leaf and wood tissues across ecological scales in subtropical forests (pages 703–714)

      Meng Kang, Scott X. Chang, En-Rong Yan and Xi-Hua Wang

      Version of Record online: 13 SEP 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12118

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      In subtropical forests in southeast China, 10 physical- and chemical-based traits vary differently between leaf and wood tissues across six ecological scales. The large variability for wood traits at the plot scale suggests a habitat filtering process, but for leaf traits within plots reflects niche differentiation process. These decoupled trait axes may increase the dimensionality of niche space and facilitate species coexistence.

    10. Functional traits behind the association between climbers and subordinate woody species (pages 715–723)

      Mário L. Garbin, Andrea Sánchez-Tapia, Tatiana T. Carrijo, Jerônimo B.B. Sansevero and Fabio R. Scarano

      Version of Record online: 6 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12140

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      We demonstrate how functional variation among climbers explains the association between stem twiners and a subordinate shrub species, Erythroxylum subsessile. While the dominant nurse tree, Clusia hilariana, facilitates a large number of species, this shrub facilitates a subset of the climbers. We offer clues to understand community assembly through facilitation driven by a subordinate and specialist nurse species.

    11. Topography and edge effects are more important than elevation as drivers of vegetation patterns in a neotropical montane forest (pages 724–733)

      Denis Lippok, Stephan G. Beck, Daniel Renison, Isabell Hensen, Amira E. Apaza and Matthias Schleuning

      Version of Record online: 16 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12132

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      We quantified the effects of elevation, topography and forest edge on habitat conditions and woody plant diversity of tropical montane forest fragments. Effects of the elevational gradient were weak compared to the small-scale effects of forest edge and topography. This study emphasizes the importance of topography and edge effects for conservation, particularly in the face of recent climate change.

    12. Resilience against exotic species invasion in a tropical montane forest (pages 734–749)

      Michael A. Tweiten, Sara C. Hotchkiss, Peter M. Vitousek, James R. Kellner, Oliver A. Chadwick and Gregory P. Asner

      Version of Record online: 26 AUG 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12112

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      In the tropical montane forests on Mauna Kea, Hawai'i, native plant communities on ash-derived soils may have higher resilience to exotic invasion than communities on lava-derived substrates. Resource managers should explicitly account for variation in soils and substrate type when fostering native plant assemblages and controlling the spread of exotic and invasive species.

    13. Functional responses of plant communities to management, landscape and historical factors in semi-natural grasslands (pages 750–759)

      M. Vandewalle, O. Purschke, F. de Bello, T. Reitalu, H.C. Prentice, S. Lavorel, L.J. Johansson and M.T. Sykes

      Version of Record online: 18 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12126

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      We investigated whether the community weighted mean trait values (CWM) and functional divergence (FD) of key plant traits were associated with historical and present-day management regimes and landscape characteristics in semi-natural grasslands on Öland, Sweden. Our results indicate that grassland functional structure in this fragmented landscape reflects not only present conditions, but also the historical context of the grassland fragments.

    14. The response of grassland species to nitrate versus ammonium coincides with their pH optima (pages 760–770)

      M. Bartelheimer and P. Poschlod

      Version of Record online: 11 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12124

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      A mescocsm experiment determined growth of seven species either as solitary plants or in mixture and varied the chemical form of available nitrogen. In solitary plants, species preferences for certain N-forms correlated strongly with habitat niches for soil pH, with acidophilous species preferring ammonium and calciphilous species preferring nitrate. Surprisingly, any such preference entirely disappeared in species mixture treatments.

    15. Field evidence of smoke-stimulated seedling emergence and establishment in Mediterranean Basin flora (pages 771–777)

      J. Tormo, B. Moreira and J.G. Pausas

      Version of Record online: 16 SEP 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12120

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      We applied liquid smoke in 21 plots and tracked seedling emergence and establishment during one year. Smoke increased seedling emergence and establishment globally and for most plots, families and species, and was most evident for annuals. Our results suggest that smoke derived from wildfires has a key effect on plant recruitment and community assembly in the Mediterranean Basin vegetation.

    16. Functional traits of cryptogams in Mediterranean ecosystems are driven by water, light and substrate interactions (pages 778–792)

      Paolo Giordani, Guido Incerti, Guido Rizzi, Ivano Rellini, Pier Luigi Nimis and Paolo Modenesi

      Version of Record online: 13 SEP 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12119

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      Functional traits of epilithic poikilohydric organisms were associated to ecological adaptations to the stressing environment of Mediterranean outcrops. Their response in terms of probability of occurrence is coherent with quantitative gradients of solar radiation and water availability at the micro-scale.

    17. Responses to fire differ between South African and North American grassland communities (pages 793–804)

      Kevin P. Kirkman, Scott L. Collins, Melinda D. Smith, Alan K. Knapp, Deron E. Burkepile, Catherine E. Burns, Richard W.S. Fynn, Nicole Hagenah, Sally E. Koerner, Katherine J. Matchett, Dave I. Thompson, Kevin R. Wilcox and Peter D. Wragg

      Version of Record online: 20 NOV 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12130

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      Fire affects mesic grasslands differently in North America and South Africa. Species richness increases with high fire frequency in South Africa, but increases with low fire frequency in North America. Nutrient addition reduces species richness in a similar manner on both continents. Species traits, including height and methods of clonal reproduction are likely to contribute to the differing responses.

    18. Understorey plant community dynamics following a large, mixed severity wildfire in a Pinus ponderosaPseudotsuga menziesii forest, Colorado, USA (pages 805–818)

      Paula J. Fornwalt and Merrill R. Kaufmann

      Version of Record online: 16 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12128

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      The 2002 Hayman Fire burned across 55 800 ha of montane forest in Colorado, USA. Also burned were understorey vegetation plots that had been measured 5–6 yrs prior. We examined postfire understorey development by remeasuring the plots annually from 2003 to 2007. Our results suggest that the fire had largely neutral or stimulative impacts on understorey plant communities.

    19. Dead branches on living trees constitute a large part of the dead wood in managed boreal forests, but are not important for wood-dependent lichens (pages 819–828)

      Måns Svensson, Anders Dahlberg, Thomas Ranius and Göran Thor

      Version of Record online: 29 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12131

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      Dead wood is a key resource for forest biodiversity. Although overlooked, attached dead branches constitute a significant proportion of all dead wood available in managed boreal forests. However, the lichen communities on these branches mainly consist of generalist species. Lichens on attached dead branches thus do not contribute strongly to the species pool of wood-dependent lichens in managed boreal forests.

    20. A long-term perspective on woody plant encroachment in the desert southwest, New Mexico, USA (pages 829–838)

      A. Brunelle, T.A. Minckley, J. Delgadillo and S. Blissett

      Version of Record online: 18 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12125

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      This paper provides the first long-term perspective on woody plant encroachment (WPE) in desert ecosystems. Using 5500 yrs of sedimentary pollen and charcoal data from Cloverdale Ciénega, NM along with climate, grazing and CO2 data from other sources we demonstrate that WPE is a result of the introduction of grazers and increases in CO2 through the burning of fossil fuels.

    21. Clonal trait diversity in relation to invasiveness of alien macrophytes in two Himalayan Ramsar sites (pages 839–847)

      Ayaz Bashir Shah, Zafar A. Reshi and Manzoor A. Shah

      Version of Record online: 16 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12143

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      In view the paucity of studies on clonality in relation to plant invasion, our demonstration of a significant positive correlation between clonality and species invasiveness in two Himalayan Ramsar sites, and our results on the clonal trait diversity of targeted alien macrophytes have substantial implications for invasion management in wetland systems.

    22. Woody vegetation communities of tidal freshwater swamps in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida (US) with comparisons to similar systems in the US and South America (pages 848–862)

      Jamie A. Duberstein, William H. Conner and Ken W. Krauss

      Version of Record online: 13 SEP 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12115

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      Tidal freshwater forested wetlands are a poorly studied ecosystem that continues to be heavily impacted by global climate change, specifically via sea-level rise. We provide this four-community framework as a means to more accurately compare and predict ecosystem responses between different river systems. We describe how most published accounts fit into this framework and identify those that do not fit.

    23. The number of vegetation types in European countries: major determinants and extrapolation to other regions (pages 863–872)

      Borja Jiménez-Alfaro, Milan Chytrý, Marcel Rejmánek and Ladislav Mucina

      Version of Record online: 15 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12145

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      We analyze patters of vegetation diversity in European countries. Numbers of phytosociological classes and alliances per country depend mainly on country's floristic richness, with an additional influence of habitat heterogeneity on the number of alliances. These relationships allow us to estimate the number of vegetation types that may be recognized in other regions worldwide.

    24. Climatic niche shifts in the serpentine soil flora of California (pages 873–884)

      Dylan O. Burge and Carl F. Salk

      Version of Record online: 16 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12144

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      It has long been observed that unusual, infertile soils have a profound influence on the climatic niche of some plant species. Evidence from an analysis of herbarium data for serpentine-generalist plant species occurring in the state of California suggests that plant populations on serpentine occur at lower elevations—and at more moderate temperatures—than populations from non-serpentine soils.

    25. Local increases in diversity accompany community homogenization in floodplain forest understories (pages 885–896)

      Sarah E. Johnson, Erika L. Mudrak and Donald M. Waller

      Version of Record online: 27 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12147

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      We document increases in local diversity and decreases in regional diversity in floodplain forests over the past 55-yr, notably driven by native species. These patterns of change among floodplain forest understories differ substantially from nearby upland forests where researchers have observed declines in both local and regional diversity due to decreases in native species diversity coupled with increases in exotics.

    26. Maintenance of constant functional diversity during secondary succession of a subtropical forest in China (pages 897–911)

      Martin Böhnke, Wenzel Kröber, Erik Welk, Christian Wirth and Helge Bruelheide

      Version of Record online: 5 SEP 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12114

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      Analysing functional diversity along a subtropical forest chronosequence we encountered a constant functional diversity with increasing successional age because the communities compensated for a loss in trait dissimilarity by distributing the trait values more evenly among the resident species, thus increasing functional evenness. This constant functionality might provide an explanation for the temporally stable immigration conditions in this succession series.