Applied Vegetation Science

Cover image for Vol. 20 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: 2.308

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2015: 6/66 (Forestry); 57/209 (Plant Sciences); 59/150 (Ecology)

Online ISSN: 1654-109X

Associated Title(s): Journal of Vegetation Science


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  1. Special Feature: Vegetation Resurvey

    1. The paradox of long-term ungulate impact: increase of plant species richness in a temperate forest

      Ondřej Vild, Radim Hédl, Martin Kopecký, Péter Szabó, Silvie Suchánková and Václav Zouhar

      Version of Record online: 8 FEB 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12289

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      How have the high densities of wild ungulates affected the understorey vegetation in a temperate oakwood after five decades? Comparison of quasi-permanent plots showed an increase in species richness under anthropogenically increased density of deer, mouflon and wild boar. The increase was mostly caused by the expansion of ruderal species, while other species did not change much.

  2. Research Articles

    1. Resprouting of woody species encroaching temperate European grasslands after cutting and burning

      Mathias Michielsen, László Szemák, Annamária Fenesi, Ivan Nijs and Eszter Ruprecht

      Version of Record online: 8 FEB 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12300

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      Grassland abandonment causes shrub encroachment in temperate grasslands. Differences in resprouting between study species suggest that the success of encroachment control depends on the woody species composition. Restoration measures should be implemented in the early stage of encroachment since younger individuals have a lower resprouting ability. Intense burning and cutting may be equally effective in controlling shrub encroachment.

    2. Frequent inundation helps counteract land use impacts on wetland propagule banks

      Samantha K. Dawson, Richard T. Kingsford, Peter Berney, David A. Keith, Frank A. Hemmings, David I. Warton, Cathy Waters and Jane A. Catford

      Version of Record online: 7 FEB 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12295

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      We conducted germination assays on soil samples collected from fields with different land use histories, stratified along an inundation gradient. Land use legacies compromised the ability of propagule banks to rejuvenate native vegetation in this floodplain wetland, especially in less frequently flooded parts of the floodplain. Negative effects of prior land use may be alleviated by increased inundation.

    3. Twenty years of change in riverside vegetation: what role have invasive alien plants played?

      Zarah Pattison, Jeroen Minderman, Philip J. Boon and Nigel Willby

      Version of Record online: 21 JAN 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12297

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      Plant invasions have increased over the last 20 yr in lowland rivers, especially those with more frequent flooding. Native plant diversity has declined, with invasive alien plants having a small but significant negative effect. However, there have been parallel changes in tree shading, grazing and sediment deposition linked to land use change which have also influenced riparian plant communities.

    4. Response of understorey plant communities and traits to past land use and coniferous plantation

      Laurent Bergès, Thomas Feiss, Catherine Avon, Hilaire Martin, Xavier Rochel, Emmanuelle Dauffy-Richard, Thomas Cordonnier and Jean-Luc Dupouey

      Version of Record online: 21 JAN 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12296

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      We investigated to what extent conifer plantation modified the composition and the traits of understory plant communities in recent and ancient forests, compared with naturally-regenerated deciduous tree species. Conifer plantation resulted in a long-lasting distinct taxonomic and functional trait composition. Coniferous plantation slowed down the recovery of post-agricultural forests towards ancient deciduous forest conditions.

  3. Special Feature

    1. Convergence and impoverishment of fen communities in a eutrophicated agricultural landscape of the Czech Republic

      Jana Navrátilová, Michal Hájek, Josef Navrátil, Petra Hájková and Ryan J. Frazier

      Version of Record online: 21 JAN 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12298

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      The historically wide array of fen vegetation has turned into a homogeneous and floristically depauperate set of acidic yet productive flooded fens with a high water level. Fluctuating water levels and high nutrient availability favour productive Sphagnum fens over the other vegetation types, and importantly do not support some endangered fen species.

  4. Special Feature: Vegetation Resurvey

    1. Compositional changes in thermophilous oak forests in Poland over time: do they correspond to European trends?

      Kamila Reczyńska and Krzysztof Świerkosz

      Version of Record online: 19 DEC 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12290

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      We present the first detailed analysis of temporal changes in vegetation of thermophilous oak forests in SW Poland. During the last 20 yr studied oak woods shifted from communities of moderately oligotrophic and mesic character towards forests growing on nutrient-richer but drier habitats. Simultaneously, their species diversity increased, although they were deprived of traditional management (coppicing, pasturing).

    2. Re-visiting historical semi-natural grasslands in the Apennines to assess patterns of changes in species composition and functional traits

      Eleonora Giarrizzo, Sabina Burrascano, Tommaso Chiti, Francesco de Bello, Jan Lepš, Laura Zavattero and Carlo Blasi

      Version of Record online: 18 DEC 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12288

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      Re-visitation of historical plots is a precious tool to assess vegetation changes. By using stratified random sampling and historical species pools as a reference, we quantified changes in species composition of Apennines semi-natural grasslands. We identified the ecological processes behind these changes through the analysis of functional traits, and found two main trends: successional dynamics and grazing disturbance.

    3. Taxonomic and functional vegetation changes after shifting management from traditional herding to fenced grazing in temperate grassland communities

      Marian Koch, Birgit Schröder, Anke Günther, Kerstin Albrecht, Rudolf Pivarci and Gerald Jurasinski

      Version of Record online: 2 DEC 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12287

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      In a nature reserve encompassing dry grasslands and wet fen meadows, traditional pastoral herding for conservation was replaced by fenced grazing. A vegetation resurvey after 23 yrs revealed divergent developments: increased species richness in the dry sites, but unchanged richness and a functional shift to graminoids in the wet meadows.

    4. Drivers of species richness and compositional change in Scottish coastal vegetation

      Robin J. Pakeman, Richard L. Hewison and Rob J. Lewis

      Version of Record online: 24 NOV 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12283

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      A quadrat-based revisitation survey was used to identify drivers of species losses and gains in Scottish sand dunes. Richness losses in eastern Scotland were driven by acidic deposition and reduced grazing. Species richness changes were neutral/positive where sand dune and machair habitats remained part of agricultural systems on the Hebridean islands.

    5. Large climate change, large effect? Vegetation changes over the past century in the European High Arctic

      Jutta Kapfer and John-Arvid Grytnes

      Version of Record online: 23 NOV 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12280

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      The European Arctic has experienced highest rates of temperature increase globally over the past decades. Our results from three plant sociological studies suggest these changes to have caused significant vegetation changes on the Svalbard Archipelago, 78 °North. Time-delayed responses and/or a limited size of the species pool may explain internal community re-structuring and an overall stability in species richness.

    6. Forty years of vegetation change in former coppice-with-standards woodlands as a result of management change and N deposition

      Thomas Becker, Julia Spanka, Lothar Schröder and Christoph Leuschner

      Version of Record online: 23 NOV 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12282

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      Former coppice-with-standards woodland on the Dransfeld Plateau (Central Germany) has been transformed to high forest. Obscuration due to canopy closure, and eutrophication have caused dominance stands of the bears’ garlic, Allium ursinum. Our study shows that not only forests on poor soil but also those on rich limestone soil may respond to chronic N deposition with vegetation shift. (Photo: T. Becker 08-04-2012).

    7. Influence of topography on long-term successional trajectories in canyon grasslands

      Samantha J. Bernards and Lesley R. Morris

      Version of Record online: 6 NOV 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12272

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      Due to agricultural conversion, only a few remnants of the Pacific Northwest Bunchgrass Region remain in the United States, such as those found in the rugged topography of canyon grasslands. Using a repeated vegetation survey from permanent plots, we show that long-term (>30 years) secondary succession is influenced by topography and its relationship to historical land uses within these canyon grasslands.

    8. Resurveying historical vegetation data – opportunities and challenges

      Jutta Kapfer, Radim Hédl, Gerald Jurasinski, Martin Kopecký, Fride H. Schei and John-Arvid Grytnes

      Version of Record online: 5 OCT 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12269

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      Resurveying historical vegetation plots provides a unique opportunity to estimate vegetation and environmental changes over the past decades. This paper describes the properties of vegetation resurveys distinguishing basic types of plots according to relocation error and it highlights the potential of such data types for studying vegetation dynamics and their drivers.

    9. The ecological legacy of 20th century acidification carried on by ecosystem engineers

      Andreas H. Schweiger and Carl Beierkuhnlein

      Version of Record online: 11 AUG 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12259

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      Ecosystem engineering by plant species is a well-recognized concept. However, long-term interactive effects of anthropogenic environmental changes and biogenic habitat modification on plant community composition are still understudied. Based on monitoring data we show that biogenic habitat modification by peat moss species significantly change plant community composition on a decadal scale in landscapes heavily impacted by historic anthropogenic acidification.

    10. Addressing species turnover and community changes in vegetation resurvey studies

      Elsa Alfonsi, Marie-Lise Benot, Virgil Fievet and Didier Alard

      Version of Record online: 11 AUG 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12258

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      This article addresses a set of important questions about vegetation resurvey strategy: what information can we draw from the resurvey of quasi-permanent plots, and how can we use plot data without accurate geographic reference to track vegetation change in time.

  5. Special Feature

    1. Climate, pollution and grazing drive long-term change in moorland habitats

      Andrea J. Britton, Alison J. Hester, Richard L. Hewison, Jacqueline M. Potts and Louise C. Ross

      Version of Record online: 25 JUL 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12260

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Dwarf-shrub moorland is a distinctive feature of north-west Europe. We used a long-term resurvey to assess change in moorland composition across Scotland between the 1970s and 2005. Species richness of moorlands increased due to expansion of grazing and pollution tolerant graminoids and generalist mosses, while specialist species declined. Climate, pollution and grazing all played significant roles in driving these changes.

    2. Biotic homogenization of herb layer composition between two contrasting beech forest communities on limestone over 50 years

      Steffi Heinrichs and Wolfgang Schmidt

      Version of Record online: 29 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12255

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      We evaluated resurvey data for a nutrient-poor and dry and a nutrient-rich and moist beech forest community and concentrated on homogenization and differentiation dynamics within and between both communities. Our study shows that homogenization takes place across a large environmental gradient and is mainly driven by vegetation dynamics in the nutrient poor community at marginal sites with high conservation value.


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