Applied Vegetation Science

Cover image for Vol. 18 Issue 1

Early View (Online Version of Record published before inclusion in an issue)

Chief Editors: Milan Chytrý, with Alessandro Chiarucci, Valerio Pillar, Meelis Pärtel (Chair of the Editors)

Impact Factor: 2.416

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2013: 7/64 (Forestry); 55/199 (Plant Sciences); 58/141 (Ecology)

Online ISSN: 1654-109X

Associated Title(s): Journal of Vegetation Science


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  1. Research Articles

    1. Flower functional trait responses to restoration time

      Letícia Couto Garcia, Marcus Vinicius Cianciaruso, Danilo Bandini Ribeiro, Flavio Antonio Maës dos Santos and Ricardo Ribeiro Rodrigues

      Article first published online: 4 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12163

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      A highly diverse species pool seems to promise to increase richness and functional diversity of tree species. Flower functional diversity of trees could be achieved after two decades of restoration, but non-trees remained far from reference values, even after a five-decade period in highly-fragmented landscapes. Our adaptation of indicator value method may be used for other ecosystem types.

    2. Predicting historic forest composition using species lists in presettlement land survey records, western New York

      Chris P. S. Larsen, Stephen J. Tulowiecki, Yi-Chen Wang and Andrew B. Trgovac

      Article first published online: 2 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12165

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      Presettlement land survey records (e.g. GLO) contain two types of independent data: bearing trees and species lists. We show that species in the lists are correlated with species in the bearing trees. The correlations are strongest when the listed species are rank weighted by their position in the list, though still significant when species in the list are equally weighted.

    3. Plant beta-diversity is enhanced around grassland–forest edges within a traditional agricultural landscape

      Ryohei G. Ohara and Atushi Ushimaru

      Article first published online: 2 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12166

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      In traditional agricultural satoyama landscapes, the edges between rice fields and secondary forests are widely maintained as seminatural grasslands by mowing. Beta-diversity in grassland and forest-floor communities bordering edges was high in studied satoyama landscape, although alpha-diversity was not consistently high around edges. Maintenance of environmental heterogeneity among grassland–forest edges should be prioritized for biodiversity conservation in agricultural ecosystems.

    4. Impacts of visitor trampling on the taxonomic and functional community structure of calcareous grassland

      Timo Conradi, Katharina Strobl, Anna-Lena Wurfer and Johannes Kollmann

      Article first published online: 24 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12164

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      We investigated the long-term effects of visitor trampling on calcareous grassland composition and diversity along transects perpendicular to hiking trails. Using information on conservation status and functional traits of the plant species, we showed that the conservation value of the study grassland was only marginally affected beyond the immediate impact on the trails and identified plant traits responsive to trampling.

    5. Limitations to the use of facilitation as a restoration tool in arid grazed savanna: a case study

      Zouhaier Noumi, Mohamed Chaieb, Richard Michalet and Blaise Touzard

      Article first published online: 16 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12158

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      The goal of this study was to determine to what extent positive interactions (facilitation) among plants may be used as a restoration tool in an arid, grazed region (Southern Tunisia). Contrary to the predictions that facilitation is a successful restoration technique, our results always showed negative interactions (competition) between Acacia tree and two neighbours in all water and grazing conditions.

    6. What lies beneath: detecting sub-canopy changes in savanna woodlands using a three-dimensional classification method

      Jolene T. Fisher, Ed T.F. Witkowski, Barend F.N. Erasmus, Penelope J. Mograbi, Gregory P. Asner, Jan A.N. van Aardt, Konrad J. Wessels and Renaud Mathieu

      Article first published online: 16 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12160

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      Using airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), we show a low intensity use communal rangeland has a great woody vegetation structural diversity than a neighbouring private protected area. A 3D woody vegetation structural classification was necessary to detect fine-scale, and particularly sub-canopy, change in these semi-arid savannas and should be used in preference of a 2D vegetation classification for monitoring.

    7. Evaluating restoration potential of transferred topsoil

      William M. Fowler, Joseph B. Fontaine, Neal J. Enright and Willa P. Veber

      Article first published online: 12 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12162

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      We evaluated the ecological restoration potential of topsoil transfer by comparing germinant density and species composition of soil seed banks before and after transfer in a glasshouse trial. Following transfer, germinant densities were lower, composition shifted towards annuals, and the need for fire-related cues (heat, smoke) was reduced. Our findings identify directions for future work to further refine restoration prescriptions.

  2. Original Articles

    1. Nature will have its way: local vegetation trumps restoration treatments in semi-natural grassland

      Inger Auestad, Ingvild Austad and Knut Rydgren

      Article first published online: 11 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12138

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      This fine-scale semi-natural grassland restoration experiment revealed that seed influx from surroundings overrode the effect of various restoration treatments (natural regeneration, seeding of local seed mixture and transfer of local hay). Ordination analysis demonstrated rapid homogenisation of the restored vegetation. Seed influx from surrounding grasslands may support restoration, but also limits the potential for tailoring specific species composition.

  3. Research Articles

    1. Ecological disturbance regimes caused by agricultural land uses and their effects on tropical forest regeneration

      Isela Zermeño-Hernández, Moisés Méndez-Toribio, Christina Siebe, Julieta Benítez-Malvido and Miguel Martínez-Ramos

      Article first published online: 11 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12161

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      We proposed an index to quantify the ecological disturbance produced by different agricultural land uses types. This ecological disturbance index (EDI) predicts several regeneration variables as well as or better than direct measurements of the site condition at time of abandonment. EDI can be useful to identify in a fast and inexpensive way biodiversity-friendly agricultural land uses in human-modified landscapes.

    2. Floods reduce the prevalence of exotic plant species within the riparian zone: evidence from natural floods

      Joe Greet, J. Angus Webb and Roger D. Cousens

      Article first published online: 29 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12156

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      We present evidence that flooding reduces the prevalence of terrestrial taxa (often exotic weeds) within riparian zones. Our study provides further evidence to support the use of managed floods to reduce the prevalence of terrestrial exotic taxa along regulated rivers. More generally, we demonstrate how natural experiments conducted around unregulated flow events can be used to inform environmental flow management.

    3. Recovery of plant diversity in restored semi-natural pastures depends on adjacent land use

      Marie Winsa, Riccardo Bommarco, Regina Lindborg, Lorenzo Marini and Erik Öckinger

      Article first published online: 13 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12157

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      We assessed how adjacent land use influences restoration success in previously abandoned semi-natural pastures. Our results indicate that restoration success, in terms of plant community recovery, is higher in pastures situated adjacent to an intact grassland that can act as a population source than in pastures surrounded by crop fields.

    4. Long-term vegetation dynamics (40 yr) in the Succulent Karoo, South Africa: effects of rainfall and grazing

      Margaretha W. van Rooyen, Annelise Le Roux, Conrad Geldenhuys, Noel van Rooyen, Nadine L. Broodryk and Helga van der Merwe

      Article first published online: 24 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12150

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      The vegetation change displayed elements of both equilibrium and non-equilibrium dynamics. The directional change evident in perennial species composition, supports the equilibrium concept whereby the negative changes induced by heavy grazing were partially reversed. The annual component showed no directional change, but displayed event-driven, nonequilibrium dynamics by fluctuating in reaction to the timing and quantity of rainfall.

    5. Human legacies differentially organize functional and phylogenetic diversity of urban herbaceous plant communities at multiple spatial scales

      Anna L. Johnson, Erica C. Tauzer and Christopher M. Swan

      Article first published online: 24 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12155

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      While many studies have described patterns of biodiversity at the scale of entire cities, we know much less about how processes of community assembly vary within cities. We surveyed plant diversity in vacant lots in Baltimore, MD, US, and demonstrate that human land-use legacies explain more variation in composition and diversity than environmental and spatial gradients in this system.

    6. Stand management to reduce fire risk promotes understorey plant diversity and biomass in a semi-arid Pinus halepensis plantation

      María N. Jiménez, Erica N. Spotswood, Eva M. Cañadas and Francisco B. Navarro

      Article first published online: 15 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12151

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      This paper shows how restoration thinning and vegetation treatments (clearing and ploughing) used to reduce fire risk can modify the understorey vegetation in pine plantations on previous croplands, increasing plant diversity and/or biomass. However, it does not lead to recruitment of species that are typical of the native forests, and stand management should be coupled with active restoration techniques.

    7. Both farming practices and landscape characteristics determine the diversity of characteristic and rare arable weeds in organically managed fields

      Roser Rotchés-Ribalta, José Manuel Blanco-Moreno, Laura Armengot, Lourdes Chamorro and Francesc Xavier Sans

      Article first published online: 9 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12154

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      Characteristic arable weeds have dramatically declined in arable cropping systems due to land-use management and changes in agricultural landscape. The decline of some species has been so sharp that they have become rare. Our broad survey on organic fields reflects that adequate fertilization and the presence of autumn-sowing cereals in the crop rotation enhance their persistence.

    8. Managing cattle grazing and overstorey cover for the conversion of pine monocultures into mixed Mediterranean woodlands

      Yagil Osem, Tom Fogel, Yossi Moshe and Shlomo Brant

      Article first published online: 8 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12152

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      We investigated the effects of cattle grazing and overstory cover on natural regeneration in east Mediterranean pine (Pinus brutia) plantations. Pine recruitment and sapling growth were significantly promoted by grazing exclusion and overstory thinning. Recruitment of broadleaved tree species was only little affected by grazing and overstory cover but their growth was significantly enhanced following grazing exclusion and overstoy thinning.

    9. Grassland restoration by seeding: seed source and growth form matter more than density

      Emer A. Walker, Julia-Maria Hermann and Johannes Kollmann

      Article first published online: 8 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12153

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      This field experiment tests effects of seed source (regional wild vs cultivar) and seeding density of one matrix grass and three forb species, and of grass growth form, on establishment and flowering of target species and suppression of invasive species on calcareous gravel. Cultivars tend to flower more, but establishment and invasive suppression is better in regionals – here, especially tussock grasses.

    10. Soil mutualists modify priority effects on plant productivity, diversity, and composition

      Laura A. Burkle and R. Travis Belote

      Article first published online: 21 NOV 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12149

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      In a manipulative mesocosm experiment, mycorrhizal fungi modified priority effects and productivity-diversity relationships, suggesting that pioneer species interact with soil mutualists to govern diversity, community composition, and ecosystem function. Negative effects of a non-native pioneer grass on the colonizing community were ameliorated by mycorrhizal supplements, suggesting that mycorrhizal amendments may enhance diversity of degraded sites in restoration projects.

  4. Original Articles

    1. Impact of ungulate exclusion on understorey succession in relation to forest management in the Intermountain Western United States

      Burak K. Pekin, Bryan A. Endress, Michael J. Wisdom, Bridgett J. Naylor and Catherine G. Parks

      Article first published online: 1 NOV 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12145

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      Our study explores plant community responses to ungulate grazing with regards to forest management history. Trajectories of vegetation composition and diversity differ strongly in grazed versus ungrazed sites following stand thinning and prescribed fire. Grazing effects are less pronounced in later seral stages found on unmanaged sites.

  5. Research Articles

    1. Small wetlands are critical for safeguarding rare and threatened plant species

      Sarah J. Richardson, Richard Clayton, Brian D. Rance, Hazel Broadbent, Matt S. McGlone and Janet M. Wilmshurst

      Article first published online: 30 OCT 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12144

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      Rare species are often used to prioritise sites for conservation management, yet it is unclear whether this approach yields co-benefits for all biodiversity and ecosystem properties. Using wetland plants from southern New Zealand, we found no evidence that preserving sites with rare species safeguarded community types, rare environments or large wetlands. Small wetlands were critical for safeguarding rare species.

  6. Original Articles

    1. Landscape context in colonization of restored dry grasslands by target species

      Karel Prach, Karel Fajmon, Ivana Jongepierová and Klára Řehounková

      Article first published online: 21 OCT 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12140

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      We consider the strongest point of our paper is the large-scale of the study. We are not aware of any such extensive restoration of grasslands using a species-rich regional seed mixture. The restoration was organized by our colleague Ivana Jongepierová (see photo) and without her enthusiasm the restoration, and thus this study, could not be possible to realize.

    2. Climatic characterization of forest zones across administrative boundaries improves conservation planning

      Heather A. Klassen and Philip J. Burton

      Article first published online: 21 OCT 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12143

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      The full climatic niche for British Columbia's Coastal Douglas-fir forest zone is determined from its mapped distribution and georeferenced plot data in the neighbouring USA. A new subzone is characterized, and the potential distribution of the extended zone is projected under a changing climate to identify climate refugia. For sensitive ecosystems with multi-jurisdictional distributions, this approach helps focus conservation efforts.

    3. Changes in landscape composition of differently irrigated hay meadows in an arid mountain region

      Eliane Riedener, Ramona L. Melliger, Hans-Peter Rusterholz and Bruno Baur

      Article first published online: 21 OCT 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12141

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      We examined consequences of a change in irrigation technique (from traditional flooding to sprinkler irrigation) for the plant diversity of species-rich hay meadows and the surrounding landscape in an arid Swiss mountain region. The installation of sprinklers was associated with a homogenisation of the landscape. The highly structured surroundings are important for the conservation of the meadows' plant diversity.

    4. Three decades of vegetation changes in peatlands isolated in an agricultural landscape

      Salomé Pasquet, Stéphanie Pellerin and Monique Poulin

      Article first published online: 21 OCT 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12142

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      We examined vegetation changes over three decades in temperate peatlands isolated in agricultural landscapes and affected by a recent fire. Results showed noteworthy species turnover with a significant forest cover increase in margins and post-fire succession through non-peatland to peatland species in the centre. The broader implication is that peatland conservation in highly modified landscapes must be linked to restoration.

    5. Vegetation dynamics of managed Mediterranean forests 16 yr after large fires in southeastern Spain

      Raquel Alfaro-Sánchez, Raúl Sánchez-Salguero, Jorge De las Heras, Enrique Hernández-Tecles, Daniel Moya and Francisco R. López-Serrano

      Article first published online: 15 OCT 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12137

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      Early treatments applied to post-fire regenerated P. halepensis forests of southeastern Spain, including removal of the understorey vegetation and thinning, are a suitable option to reduce fire hazards in the short term and to enhance the diversity indices when applied to very high tree density post-fire regenerated stands, even in areas with very limited resources such as semi-arid ecosystems.

    6. Land-use history and an invasive grass affect tallgrass prairie sedge community composition

      Devan Allen McGranahan, David M. Engle, John T. Mulloy, James R. Miller and Diane M. Debinski

      Article first published online: 30 SEP 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12136

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      Little research has reported on the abundance and diversity of upland grassland sedges (Cyperaceae). We found 21 species across five genera. Sedges averaged 23% of total plant cover in intact tallgrass prairie. Sedges provide substantial early-season forage for grazers. Although community composition varied with land-use history and across levels of an invasive species, diversity was unaffected by grazing history.

    7. Post-ranching tree–grass interactions in secondary Acacia zanzibarica woodlands in coastal Tanzania – an experimental study

      Roland Cochard, Peter J. Edwards and Ewald Weber

      Article first published online: 17 SEP 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12134

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      When clearings were created in secondary Acacia zanzibarica woodlands, resprouting occurred from acacia stumps and roots, and many seedlings established. The absence of ungulate grazing allowed prolific grass growth and associated competition for water. Acacia seedlings were killed and sprout densities decreased in the dry season, partly as a result of fires. Woodlands did not readily regenerate; clearings remained.

    8. Changes in the fruiting landscape relax restrictions on endozoochorous tree dispersal into deforested lands

      Daniel Martínez and Daniel García

      Article first published online: 17 SEP 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12135

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      Passive reforestation is scarce and spatially constrained, as few tree seeds arrive far from remnant forest. We show how dynamism in fruiting landscapes can relax restrictions on seed dispersal into deforested areas. An increase in fruit production by isolated trees remaining within those areas influenced frugivore activity resulting in more seeds dispersed out of the forest and further from it.

    9. Long-term climate forcings to assess vulnerability in North Africa dry argan woodlands

      Francisca Alba-Sánchez, José Antonio López-Sáez, Diego Nieto-Lugilde and Jens-Christian Svenning

      Article first published online: 15 SEP 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12133

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      North African dry woodlands constitute Mediterranean climatic-ecotone ecosystems of vital importance for human livelihoods and local biodiversity. To improve the basis for managing these key ecosystems, we have selected a Tertiary relict woodland (Argania spinosa) in order to clarify the sensitivity to long-term climate change (the present, the past glacial-interglacial cycle, and under future scenarios).

    10. The rise and fall of Leptospermum laevigatum: plant community change associated with the invasion and senescence of a range-expanding native species

      Luke S. O'Loughlin, Peter T. Green and John W. Morgan

      Article first published online: 8 SEP 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12131

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      Shrub invasions often alter ground layer vegetation but the permanence of these changes is sometimes unclear. The study of plant community patterns across a chronosequence of Leptospermum laevigatum invasion and senescence found that canopy gaps promoted higher species diversity and created a community composition more similar to an uninvaded state. Gaps provided increased habitat heterogeneity in an otherwise uniform landscape.


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