Nomenclature: Rameau et al. (1989); Hill et al. (2006); Lambinon et al. (1999).
Opposite responses of vascular plant and moss communities to changes in humus form, as expressed by the Humus Index
Version of Record online: 29 JAN 2009
2008 IAVS - the International Association of Vegetation Science
Journal of Vegetation Science
Volume 19, Issue 5, pages 645–652, October 2008
How to Cite
Lalanne, A., Bardat, J., Lalanne-Amara, F., Gautrot, T. and Ponge, J.-F. (2008), Opposite responses of vascular plant and moss communities to changes in humus form, as expressed by the Humus Index. Journal of Vegetation Science, 19: 645–652. doi: 10.3170/2007-8-18431
Acknowledgements. The study was financially supported by a grant given to the junior author by the Office National des Forêts, which is gratefully acknowledged. Authors are also grateful to local authorities for access to the sites and commodities.
- Issue online: 29 JAN 2009
- Version of Record online: 29 JAN 2009
- Received 4 June 2007; Accepted 1 November 2007;
- Edaphic property;
- Forest vegetation;
- Species richness
Does the distribution of plant species found in forests correlate with variation in the Humus Index (based on a ranking of humus forms) and, if so, do the species exhibit different responses according to phyletic lineages?
Paris Basin, France, with a temperate Atlantic climate
Mosses and vascular plants (herbs, ferns) were inventoried in two broad-leaved forests with contrasting soil conditions, where 15 and 16 sites were investigated, respectively. Variety of stand age and prevailing soil conditions were analysed in 5 plots and 20 sub-plots in a grid at each site. Mantel tests were used to estimate correlations between the Humus Index and plant species richness, taking into account spatial autocorrelation.
The local (plot, sub-plot) species richness of moss communities increased with the Humus Index, i.e. when humus forms shifted from mull to moder. The reverse phenomenon was observed in vascular communities. The opposite response of these two plant groups could be explained by opposite strategies for nutrient capture which developed in the course of their evolutionary history.
Although not necessarily causative, the Humus Index predict fairly well changes in species richness which occur in forest vegetation, provided that phyletic lineages and geographical position are taken into consideration.