Applied Vegetation Science

Cover image for Vol. 18 Issue 3

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: 2.548

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2014: 5/65 (Forestry); 52/200 (Plant Sciences); 56/144 (Ecology)

Online ISSN: 1654-109X

Associated Title(s): Journal of Vegetation Science


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  1. Special Feature: Vegetation Dynamics in Ecological Restoration

    1. Creation of micro-topographic features: a new tool for introducing specialist species of calcareous grassland to restored sites?

      Markus Wagner, James M. Bullock, Lucy Hulmes, Sarah Hulmes, Jodey Peyton, Sam R. Amy, Joanna Savage, Jerry B. Tallowin, Matthew S. Heard and Richard F. Pywell

      Article first published online: 31 AUG 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12198

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      We tested the effects of pre-sowing disturbance techniques and of post-establishment management regimes on establishment of sown specialist forbs of calcareous grassland in a partially restored site. Both harrowing and creation of micro-topographic features promoted sown species establishment. The latter technique did however work better for low-statured species, and generally resulted in faster transition of sown individuals to reproductive stage.

  2. Research Articles

    1. Biomass removal by clipping and raking vs burning for the restoration of abandoned Stipa-dominated European steppe-like grassland

      Eszter Ruprecht, Márton Zsolt Enyedi, Anna Szabó and Annamária Fenesi

      Article first published online: 27 AUG 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12199

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      We experimentally investigated if yearly biomass removal by clipping and raking have a beneficial effect on the long-term abandoned steppe-like grassland, and if fire is a good alternative. Clipping and raking had a beneficial effect on vegetation structure and composition and lead to more open grassland. A single fire event negatively affected the dominant species and promoted a stoloniferous grass.

    2. Phosphorus limitation relates to diet selection of sheep and goats on dry calcareous grassland

      Pavla Hejcmanová, Pavlína Pokorná, Michal Hejcman and Vilém Pavlů

      Article first published online: 24 AUG 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12196

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      Sheep and goats select a wide range of plant species on dry calcareous grassland. In the late season did not offer animals more macronutrients than required for their maintenance. The animals adapted their foraging strategy to select preferentially forbs or woody species particularly rich in P and with a relatively low fibre content. Late grazing could therefore contribute to the control of woody plant species, but cannot suppress expansive grasses.

  3. Reports

    1. European Vegetation Archive (EVA): an integrated database of European vegetation plots

      Milan Chytrý, Stephan M. Hennekens, Borja Jiménez-Alfaro, Ilona Knollová, Jürgen Dengler, Florian Jansen, Flavia Landucci, Joop H.J. Schaminée, Svetlana Aćić, Emiliano Agrillo, Didem Ambarlı, Pierangela Angelini, Iva Apostolova, Fabio Attorre, Christian Berg, Erwin Bergmeier, Idoia Biurrun, Zoltán Botta-Dukát, Henry Brisse, Juan Antonio Campos, Luis Carlón, Andraž Čarni, Laura Casella, János Csiky, Renata Ćušterevska, Zora Dajić Stevanović, Jiří Danihelka, Els De Bie, Patrice de Ruffray, Michele De Sanctis, W. Bernhard Dickoré, Panayotis Dimopoulos, Dmytro Dubyna, Tetiana Dziuba, Rasmus Ejrnæs, Nikolai Ermakov, Jörg Ewald, Giuliano Fanelli, Federico Fernández-González, Úna FitzPatrick, Xavier Font, Itziar García-Mijangos, Rosario G. Gavilán, Valentin Golub, Riccardo Guarino, Rense Haveman, Adrian Indreica, Deniz Işık Gürsoy, Ute Jandt, John A.M. Janssen, Martin Jiroušek, Zygmunt Kącki, Ali Kavgacı, Martin Kleikamp, Vitaliy Kolomiychuk, Mirjana Krstivojević Ćuk, Daniel Krstonošić, Anna Kuzemko, Jonathan Lenoir, Tatiana Lysenko, Corrado Marcenò, Vassiliy Martynenko, Dana Michalcová, Jesper Erenskjold Moeslund, Viktor Onyshchenko, Hristo Pedashenko, Aaron Pérez-Haase, Tomáš Peterka, Vadim Prokhorov, Valerijus Rašomavičius, Maria Pilar Rodríguez-Rojo, John S. Rodwell, Tatiana Rogova, Eszter Ruprecht, Solvita Rūsiņa, Gunnar Seidler, Jozef Šibík, Urban Šilc, Željko Škvorc, Desislava Sopotlieva, Zvjezdana Stančić, Jens-Christian Svenning, Grzegorz Swacha, Ioannis Tsiripidis, Pavel Dan Turtureanu, Emin Uğurlu, Domas Uogintas, Milan Valachovič, Yulia Vashenyak, Kiril Vassilev, Roberto Venanzoni, Risto Virtanen, Lynda Weekes, Wolfgang Willner, Thomas Wohlgemuth and Sergey Yamalov

      Article first published online: 20 AUG 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12191

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      The European Vegetation Archive (EVA) was developed as a centralized database of European vegetation plots. By 30 June 2015, it included 61 contributing national or regional databases that in total contained 1 027 376 vegetation plots from 57 countries, 82% of them with geographical coordinates. EVA data are provided for various international projects of fundamental and applied research.

  4. Research Articles

    1. Response of native versus exotic plant guilds to cattle and elk herbivory in forested rangeland

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

      Article first published online: 20 AUG 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12194

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      We explore the role of cattle and elk grazing in exotic plant invasions. Both ungulates have similar impacts on exotic and native plant dynamics, and the persistence of exotics on the landscape is largely mediated by vegetation succession stage which corresponds to forest management history. Exotics are extirpated as succession progresses following stand thinning and burning regardless of grazing regime.

    2. Effects of adding an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi inoculum and of distance to donor sites on plant species recolonization following topsoil removal

      Vania Torrez, Tobias Ceulemans, Joachim Mergeay, Luc de Meester and Olivier Honnay

      Article first published online: 20 AUG 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12193

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      Adding a custom-made AMF-inoculum positively affected the species richness and/or diversity of all plant species, AMF-dependent plant species and specialist plant species. However, dispersal limitation negatively affected the richness and/or diversity of all plant species and specialist plant species. As a result, dispersal limitation negatively affected the effect of inoculum addition in distant areas.

    3. What factors determined restoration success of a salt marsh ten years after de-embankment?

      Esther R. Chang, Roos M. Veeneklaas, Jan P. Bakker, Petra Daniels and Peter Esselink

      Article first published online: 20 AUG 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12195

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      Using vegetation mapping and a long-term factorial experiment with permanent plots, we identified the factors significantly influencing vegetation development 10 yr after de-embankment. The development of plant communities was found to be strongly influenced by the interaction between topography and livestock grazing. We advise for variable grazing regimes in high-elevation areas, lower grazing pressure in low-elevation areas and adequate drainage.

    4. The Upper Mississippi River floodscape: spatial patterns of flood inundation and associated plant community distributions

      Nathan R. De Jager, Jason J. Rohweder, Yao Yin and Erin Hoy

      Article first published online: 18 AUG 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12189

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      De Jager et al. develop a simple method to model and map flood inundation within floodplains at large spatial scales. In an application to the Upper Mississippi River floodplain, the authors use maps of the ‘floodscape’ to explain spatial variation in the distribution of 16 different plant communities. Quantification of flood inundation – vegetation relationships should help to identify targets for vegetation management in floodplains.

    5. Re-vegetation with native species does not control the invasive Ruellia simplex in a floodplain forest in Florida, USA

      Adrienne M. Smith, Carrie Reinhardt Adams, Christine Wiese and Sandra B. Wilson

      Article first published online: 12 AUG 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12188

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      Planting or seeding native species after initial control of an invasive species may prevent reinvasion and hasten native species establishment. We examined this approach using Ruellia simplex (Mexican petunia) in floodplain forests in Florida, USA. Ruellia simplex remained significant after a single year, and conclude that abiotic and biotic site conditions may have limited native species establishment.

    6. Estimating species richness and biomass of tropical dry forests using LIDAR during leaf-on and leaf-off canopy conditions

      Jose Luis Hernández-Stefanoni, Kristofer D. Johnson, Bruce D. Cook, Juan Manuel Dupuy, Richard Birdsey, Alicia Peduzzi and Fernando Tun-Dzul

      Article first published online: 10 AUG 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12190

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      We evaluated the accuracy of predictions using both leaf-on and leaf-off LiDAR estimates of biomass and species richness in tropical dry forest. Estimations of biomass and species richness from LiDAR data were not influenced by canopy conditions, indicating that LiDAR estimates of these variables can be obtained during the dry season. Moreover, biomass estimates were unaffected by topography.

    7. Native recolonization following control of invasive Ruellia simplex in a cypress floodplain forest

      Carrie Reinhardt Adams, Christine Wiese and Leah C. Lee

      Article first published online: 17 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12187

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      Propagule limitation from the soil seed bank is not likely a barrier to native plant recolonization in floodplain forests after removal of invasive R. simplex, but it does seem likely that soil properties are influencing the plant community. A critical next step will be identification of native species tolerant of altered soil and water conditions if restoration efforts are to succeed.

    8. Facilitation and edge effects influence vegetation regeneration in old-fields at the tropical Andean forest line

      Andrea Bueno and Luis D. Llambí

      Article first published online: 1 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12186

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      Our study provides insights into the role played by shrub facilitation and edge effects in the regeneration of forests in former agricultural plots in the high tropical Andes. Their interplay influences the establishment of vegetation from adjacent mature forests. Consequently, these processes should be considered in the design of restoration and management efforts in these highly diverse and threatened ecosystems.

    9. Restoration of sand grasslands by topsoil removal and self-greening

      Kristin Gilhaus, Vera Vogt and Norbert Hölzel

      Article first published online: 26 JUN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12176

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      Due to their high conservation value sand grasslands are targets of restoration measures in Central Europe. We showed that combining topsoil removal, self-greening from the seed bank and year-round grazing may be particularly successful restoration approaches on ex-arable land. However, undesired shrub encroachment has to be prevented and the low biomass quantity and quality of sand grasslands might constrain grazing capacity.

    10. Contrasting distribution patterns of invasive and naturalized non-native species along environmental gradients in a semi-arid montane ecosystem

      Kelly M. Andersen, Bridgett J. Naylor, Bryan A. Endress and Catherine G. Parks

      Article first published online: 22 JUN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12185

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      We ask whether functional groupings and invasive status of plants can predict invasion patterns along elevation gradients and into native vegetation. Results indicate that invasive species occupy similar habitats, whereas naturalized species partition environmental gradients. Furthermore, annual species occupy lower elevations than perennial species, regardless of invasion status. Together, this suggests functional groups are useful for understanding invasion patterns.

    11. Deforested habitats lack seeds of late-successional and large-seeded plant species in tropical montane forests

      Francisco Saavedra, Isabell Hensen and Matthias Schleuning

      Article first published online: 22 JUN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12184

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      Seed dispersal limitation in deforested habitats is triggered by few seed dispersal events. We show that perching structures enhance seed dispersal, in terms of seed density and species richness. Yet, the dispersal limitation of late-successional plant species with large seeds was not compensated. Assisted restoration strategies should have consider the origin of seeds and the presence of perch structures.

    12. Herbicide application as a habitat restoration tool: impact on native island plant communities

      Christopher N. Kaiser-Bunbury, James Mougal, Terence Valentin, Ronny Gabriel and Nico Blüthgen

      Article first published online: 19 JUN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12183

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      We conducted two field experiments in Seychelles endemic plant communities to assess the impact of ecological restoration on alien and native plants. Herbicide application resulted in short-term detrimental effects on native saplings and adults. Seedling communities changed independent of alien plant removal method. We recommend that restoration strategies should aim to conserve biodiversity at a landscape-level to account for site-idiosyncrasy.

  5. Synthesis

    1. A review of the use of direct seeding and seedling plantings in restoration: what do we know and where should we go?

      Ana Cristina Palma and Susan G.W. Laurance

      Article first published online: 13 JUN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12173

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      Direct seeding and planting of seedlings are the most common techniques use in ecosystem restoration. We reviewed 120 papers that included these techniques and examined current restoration issues. Our results highlight the need for restoration experiments to explore more species and consider future climate scenarios that will affect restoration efforts. Additionally, detailed reporting of outcomes and costs are essential.

  6. Research Articles

    1. Does vegetation in restored salt marshes equal naturally developed vegetation?

      Jantsje M. Van Loon-Steensma, Han F. Van Dobben, Pieter A. Slim, Hendrik P.J. Huiskes and Gerard M. Dirkse

      Article first published online: 13 JUN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12182

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      In this study we compare the vegetation of two restored Wadden Sea salt marshes with the vegetation of other Wadden Sea marshes. Species-by-species analysis as well as ordination of species revealed that there are no conspicuous differences between salt-marsh vegetation behind low stone dams and the vegetation that has naturally developed on unprotected mudflats. Measures targeting at salt-marsh development in view of flood protection do not automatically interfere with nature conservation.

  7. Synthesis

    1. A comparative framework for broad-scale plot-based vegetation classification

      Miquel De Cáceres, Milan Chytrý, Emiliano Agrillo, Fabio Attorre, Zoltán Botta-Dukát, Jorge Capelo, Bálint Czúcz, Jürgen Dengler, Jörg Ewald, Don Faber-Langendoen, Enrico Feoli, Scott B. Franklin, Rosario Gavilán, François Gillet, Florian Jansen, Borja Jiménez-Alfaro, Pavel Krestov, Flavia Landucci, Attila Lengyel, Javier Loidi, Ladislav Mucina, Robert K. Peet, David W. Roberts, Jan Roleček, Joop H.J. Schaminée, Sebastian Schmidtlein, Jean-Paul Theurillat, Lubomír Tichý, Donald A. Walker, Otto Wildi, Wolfgang Willner and Susan K. Wiser

      Article first published online: 13 JUN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12179

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      We present a comparison framework for vegetation classification that distinguishes four structural elements (plot record, vegetation type, consistent classification section and classification system) and two procedural elements (classification protocol and classification approach). The framework will be useful for understanding and comparing plot-based vegetation classification approaches, as well as for integrating classification systems and their sections.

  8. Research Articles

    1. Effects of simulated historical tree litter raking on the understorey vegetation in a central European forest

      Ondřej Vild, Jesse M. Kalwij and Radim Hédl

      Article first published online: 13 JUN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12180

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      Litter raking was once a wide-spread practice in forests throughout Europe. We investigated how the season in which simulated litter raking is applied affects understorey species richness and composition in a central European forest by means of a 4-yr field experiment. Autumn litter raking had the strongest impact, predominantly affecting annual species. The potential of litter raking as a forest practice in modern times is discussed.

    2. Emergence and early survival of early versus late seral species in Great Basin restoration in two different soil types

      Shauna M. Uselman, Keirith A. Snyder, Elizabeth A. Leger and Sara E. Duke

      Article first published online: 8 JUN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12175

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      We compared an early to a late seral native species seed mix for restoration of areas invaded by exotic annual grasses in the Great Basin, US. Using early serals, with greater functional trait similarities to exotics, may improve seedling survival relative to using late serals. Performance differences in two soil types may be helpful in tailoring seed mixes to sites.

  9. Forum

    1. Potential natural vegetation and environment: a critique of Kusbach, Shaw & Long

      David W. Roberts

      Article first published online: 8 JUN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12177

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      This paper convincingly refutes the conclusions of the paper ‘Discriminant analysis reveals limited association between forest habitat types and the environment in western United States land classification.’ Further analyses of the presented results clearly show strong association between potential vegetation types and environmental variability in support of the widespread use of this system as means of environmental stratification and characterization.

  10. Research Articles

    1. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Understorey plant community and light availability in conifer plantations and natural hardwood forests in Taiwan

      Tzu-Yang Liu, Kuo-Chuan Lin, Matthew A. Vadeboncoeur, Ming-Zhen Chen, Meng-Yuan Huang and Teng-Chiu Lin

      Article first published online: 26 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12178

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      We reported lower species and functional diversity and greater light availability in a natural forest than an adjacent 30-yr Cryptomeria japonica plantation in Taiwan possibly due to the greater dominance of shade-intolerant species associated with greater light availability. To maintain plant diversity, management efforts must be made to prevent localized losses of shade-adapted understory plants.

    2. Estimating leaf area index in tree species using the PocketLAI smart app

      Francesca Orlando, Ermes Movedi, Livia Paleari, Carlo Gilardelli, Marco Foi, Michele Dell'Oro and Roberto Confalonieri

      Article first published online: 26 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12181

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      PocketLAI® smartphone app was tested on a variety of woody canopies, by assuming values from hemispherical photography as a reference. PocketLAI showed satisfactory performances for broadleaf shrubs and trees (R2 = 0.78), suggesting that the app can be an alternative to other methods in case of broadleaf woody species, especially in contexts where resources and portability are key issues.

    3. The effects of rock climbing on cliff-face vegetation

      Peter Clark and Amy Hessl

      Article first published online: 19 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12172

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      This study utilizes a large dataset of cliff-face vegetation (111 sites) to investigate the effects of rock climbing on diversity, abundance, and composition of vegetation along environmental and use gradients typical of modern climbing. We conclude that climbing can negatively affect lichen diversity and cover but cliff structure is a stronger fundamental control on cliff vegetation.

    4. Fire effects on invasive and native warm-season grass species in a North American grassland at a time of extreme drought

      Scott Havill, Susanne Schwinning and Kelly G. Lyons

      Article first published online: 7 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12171

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      We asked whether an invasive C4 grasses can be selectively controlled in C4 grassland by fire timing, using yellow bluestem (invasive) and little bluestem (native) as models. We found that hot, growing-season fires conducted during a drought year was a highly selective regime for invasive species control.

    5. Responses of an ancient woodland field layer to soil translocation: methods and timing

      Marja Craig, Peter Buckley and Ruth Howell

      Article first published online: 4 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12170

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      We investigated two methods of translocating soil profiles from an ancient woodland to a nearby receptor site, using soil transfer/respreading, or intact soil ‘turves’ in different seasons. Autumn translocation promoted better immediate recovery but after 10 yr there was convergence in all soil handling treatments, when the field layers still broadly resembled those in the original wood.


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