Journal of Vegetation Science

Cover image for Vol. 25 Issue 4

July 2014

Volume 25, Issue 4

Pages 913–1111

  1. Guest Editorial

    1. Top of page
    2. Guest Editorial
    3. Commentary
    4. Synthesis
    5. Original Articles
    6. Ordinary Articles
    1. You have free access to this content
      A century of vegetation science (pages 913–916)

      David W. Goodall

      Version of Record online: 10 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12182

  2. Commentary

    1. Top of page
    2. Guest Editorial
    3. Commentary
    4. Synthesis
    5. Original Articles
    6. Ordinary Articles
    1. You have free access to this content
      Help from the dead: facilitation during succession can start when neighbours die (pages 917–918)

      Scott D. Wilson

      Version of Record online: 13 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12192

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      Resco et al. (2014) show a shift from negative to positive effects on woody seedlings when grass neighbours died in the second half of a 4-year study. Further experiments are needed to unambiguously assign the effects to living and dead neighbours, but the study raises intriguing possibilities, and yet another link between ecosystem-level ecology and population biology.

  3. Synthesis

    1. Top of page
    2. Guest Editorial
    3. Commentary
    4. Synthesis
    5. Original Articles
    6. Ordinary Articles
    1. Foliar functional traits that predict plant biomass response to warming (pages 919–927)

      Elise S. Gornish and Chelse M. Prather

      Version of Record online: 6 JAN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12150

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      Using a meta-analysis of plant biomass response to warming, and a global plant database, we found that leaf traits LL, Nmass, and Amax were significant predictors for the response of plant biomass to warming treatments, each explaining between 21–46% of the variation in plant biomass responses. We found no linear combination of any of these traits that predicted warming response.

  4. Original Articles

    1. Top of page
    2. Guest Editorial
    3. Commentary
    4. Synthesis
    5. Original Articles
    6. Ordinary Articles
    1. Can severe drought reverse woody plant encroachment in a temperate Australian woodland? (pages 928–936)

      Ben J. Zeeman, Ian D. Lunt and John W. Morgan

      Version of Record online: 10 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12153

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      In a temperate Australia woodland, we assessed stand data over a period of 41 yr to ask whether woody plant encroachment could be reversed by severe drought. As climate change intensifies, drought is expected to become more frequent and severe in southern Australia. Our results suggest that encroached temperate woodlands can be expected to be resilient to climate change.

    2. Transitions from grassland to savanna under drought through passive facilitation by grasses (pages 937–946)

      Víctor Resco de Dios, Jake F. Weltzin, Wei Sun, Travis E. Huxman and David G. Williams

      Version of Record online: 7 FEB 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12164

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      Woody plant encroachment into semiarid grasslands is often limited by active competition from live grasses, which prevents seedling establishment. However, we observed strong passive facilitation on Prosopis velutina seedlings by grass canopies that died and remained in place (became litter). This passive facilitation occurred during drought, and led to establishment levels comparable to those during wet periods and no competition.

    3. Life form influences survivorship patterns for 109 herbaceous perennials from six semi-arid ecosystems (pages 947–954)

      Chengjin Chu, Kris M. Havstad, Nicole Kaplan, William K. Lauenroth, Mitchel P. McClaran, Debra P. Peters, Lance T. Vermeire and Peter B. Adler

      Version of Record online: 31 JUL 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12106

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      We compiled six long-term datasets from western North America to test for ecosystem-dependent survival patterns of forbs and grasses. We found that life form exerts a strong influence on survival parameters and their response to temperature variation among ecosystems. The age-specific demography of herbaceous plants has implications for population modeling and research on life history evolution and senescence.

    4. Altitudinal changes in tree leaf and stem functional diversity in a semi-tropical mountain (pages 955–966)

      Erasto Hernández-Calderón, Rodrigo Méndez-Alonzo, Juan Martínez-Cruz, Antonio González-Rodríguez and Ken Oyama

      Version of Record online: 15 FEB 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12158

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      We studied the functional and specific diversity of trees each 200 m across an altitudinal gradient of 2000 m in the Tequila Volcano, Mexico. The significant associations between altitude and functional, structural, and specific diversity provide evidence of the role of altitude as an abiotic force that shapes the architecture of trees and the composition of communities in semitropical environments.

    5. Introducing wood anatomical and dendrochronological aspects of herbaceous plants: applications of the Xylem Database to vegetation science (pages 967–977)

      Ulf Büntgen, Achilleas Psomas and Fritz H. Schweingruber

      Version of Record online: 5 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12165

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      Using the Xylem Database of 3347 dicots from 140 families and 952 genera, we demonstrate that annual rings are formed independently of life form, plant size and site ecology. We suggest merging the wood anatomical and dendrochronological communities, expanding their joint application to all non-forested, extra-tropical vegetation types, and overcoming the theoretical life form separation of trees, shrubs and herbs.

    6. Refining rare weed trait syndromes along arable intensification gradients (pages 978–989)

      Gyula Pinke and Richard M. Gunton

      Version of Record online: 15 JAN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12151

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      Weed floras of extensively-managed cereal fields in western Hungary, compared to nearby intensive ones, were biased towards species with short flowering periods, particularly large or small seeds and species listed as nationally rare or declining. Compared to other species, cereal and stubble weeds listed as rare or declining tended to be broad-leaved late winter annuals, shorter, smaller-seeded and less nitrophilous.

    7. Propagule limitation and competition with nitrogen fixers limit conifer colonization during primary succession (pages 990–1003)

      Jonathan H. Titus and John G. Bishop

      Version of Record online: 29 JAN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12155

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      On Mount St. Helens many primary successional surfaces were bare while others were colonized by nitrogen-fixing plants which facilitate community development. Dense N-fixing plants inhibit Pseudotsuga menziesii establishment via moisture competition. However, in sparsely vegetated areas, conifer seeds had high establishment probability, demonstrating strong propagule limitation. Conifer establishment has decreased in densely vegetated areas but accelerated in sparsely vegetated areas.

    8. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Rodent population dynamics affect seedling recruitment in alpine habitats (pages 1004–1014)

      Kristin O. Nystuen, Marianne Evju, Graciela M. Rusch, Bente J. Graae and Nina E. Eide

      Version of Record online: 21 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12163

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      Using 2 yr of observational data of rodent disturbances and seedling recruitment in alpine vegetation in Norway, we demonstrate that small rodent population dynamics are an important driver of seedling recruitment patterns in two alpine plant communities; snowbeds and sheltered heaths.

    9. The distribution of a host-specific canopy parasite is linked with local species diversity in a northern temperate forest (pages 1015–1023)

      Rajit Patankar, Michael M. Fuller, Sandy M. Smith and Sean C. Thomas

      Version of Record online: 15 JUL 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12104

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      Here we find that the distribution and density of a host-specific canopy galling arthropod in a temperate forest is linked to local tree species diversity. Based on this and prior work examining galling impacts we suggest that parasite-induced host stress here might promote local species diversity through competitive release by weakening the competitive ability of the tree host species.

    10. Outcomes of biotic interactions are dependent on multiple environmental variables (pages 1024–1032)

      Heidi K. Mod, Peter C. le Roux and Miska Luoto

      Version of Record online: 3 JAN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12148

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      The outcomes of biotic interactions are predicted to vary along environmental severity gradients. Using an observational approach, we demonstrate that explicitly considering multiple environmental factors provides better estimates of the impacts of biotic interactions. Therefore, studies based on a single abiotic variable may reach incorrect conclusions about the nature of biotic interactions where multiple independent variables underlie the severity gradient.

    11. Vegetation, terrain and fire history shape the impact of extreme weather on fire severity and ecosystem response (pages 1033–1044)

      Peter J. Clarke, Kirsten J.E. Knox, Ross A. Bradstock, Carlos Munoz-Robles and Lalit Kumar

      Version of Record online: 6 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12166

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      We demonstrate that vegetation type strongly influences the effect of fire severity. Extreme fire weather has, however, an overriding influence on fire severity resulting in more uniform and long-term fire effects. Fire history influenced fire severity suggesting fire feedbacks. Remarkably, recovery of vegetation was rapid in pyrogenic and pyrophobic vegetation types because of basal and epicormic resprouting.

    12. Phreatophytic vegetation responses to groundwater depth in a drying mediterranean-type landscape (pages 1045–1055)

      B. Sommer and R. Froend

      Version of Record online: 3 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12178

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      With reduction in rainfall and increased used of groundwater resources, ecosystem managers may question whether plant hydrotype composition of phreatophytic vegetation alters with drawdown of the water table. In this paper a data set spanning 35 yr was used to determine the alternative states of phreatophytic vegetation and how they relate to spatial variation and temporal change in hydrological habitat.

    13. Atlantic rain forest recovery: successional drivers of floristic and structural patterns of secondary forest in Southern Brazil (pages 1056–1068)

      K. J. Zanini, R. S. Bergamin, R. E. Machado, V. D. Pillar and S. C. Müller

      Version of Record online: 15 FEB 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12162

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      Our study describes floristic and structural successional patterns of the Atlantic rainforest, looking for causal relationships between recovery age, environment and community composition of successional forests. We conclude that time since abandonment has driven the process of forest succession, since it overcame the influence of soil, space and relief variables on forest assembly patterns in the studied chronosequences.

    14. Effects of hurricane disturbance and feral goat herbivory on the structure of a Caribbean dry forest (pages 1069–1077)

      Julissa Rojas-Sandoval, Elvia J. Meléndez-Ackerman, José Fumero-Cabán, Miguel A. García-Bermúdez, José Sustache, Susan Aragón, Mariely Morales and Denny S. Fernández

      Version of Record online: 25 FEB 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12160

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      In this study we used long-term monitoring of fenced and unfenced plots to evaluate the interplay between goat herbivory and hurricane effects on tree-community structural dynamics. We found that differences in structure between Mona Island's dry forest and other tropical dry forests are related to changes in species composition that may have been triggered by introduced goats.

    15. Invasibility of boreal wetland plant communities (pages 1078–1089)

      Lotta Ström, Roland Jansson and Christer Nilsson

      Version of Record online: 30 JAN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12157

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      We evaluated the invasibility of three boreal-forest wetland types by sowing seeds of six species from the native species pool and followed germination and survival for 3 yr. All species were able to invade all wetland types, suggesting all ecosystems were invasible, and that observed differences in invasion are due to differences in propagule pressure.

    16. A tangled web in tropical tree-tops: effects of edaphic variation, neighbourhood phorophyte composition and bark characteristics on epiphytes in a central Amazonian forest (pages 1090–1099)

      Carlos R. Boelter, Cristian S. Dambros, Henrique E.M. Nascimento and Charles E. Zartman

      Version of Record online: 31 JAN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12154

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      We attempt to disentangle biotic and abiotic influences on vascular epiphyte communities in a central Amazonian forest. Soil fertility (principally P soil content) is the strongest predictor of epiphyte richness and composition followed by variation in neighborhood phorophyte composition. However, as revealed by null model analyses, the latter was not due to differences in bark texture suggesting that other unmeasured variables account for the remaining variation.

  5. Ordinary Articles

    1. Top of page
    2. Guest Editorial
    3. Commentary
    4. Synthesis
    5. Original Articles
    6. Ordinary Articles
    1. The influence of tree-scale and ecosystem-scale factors on epiphytic lichen communities across a long-term retrogressive chronosequence (pages 1100–1111)

      Johan Asplund, Aron Sandling, Paul Kardol and David A. Wardle

      Version of Record online: 27 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12149

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      We tested how ecosystem retrogression affects lichen communities on trunks of birch. We show that over a long timescale encompassing soil aging and declining soil fertility the lichen flora can be negatively affected. However, these effects are heavily mediated by tree-scale factors. These changes in the lichen community may be of potential importance for ecosystem processes driven by lichen communities.

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