Applied Vegetation Science

Cover image for Vol. 17 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)

Impact Factor: 2.416

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2013: 7/64 (Forestry); 55/196 (Plant Sciences); 58/140 (Ecology)

Online ISSN: 1654-109X

Associated Title(s): Journal of Vegetation Science


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  1. Original Articles

    1. 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.

  2. Forum

    1. On the combination of species cover values from different vegetation layers

      Hagen S. Fischer

      Article first published online: 17 SEP 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12130

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      There is no standard in the definition of vegetation layers when recording relevés. The paper presents a universal formula to combine two or more cover values when relevés from different data sources are pooled.

  3. Original Articles

    1. 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.

    2. 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).

    3. Understanding long-term effects of topsoil removal in peatlands: overcoming thresholds for fen meadows restoration

      Agata Klimkowska, David J.D. van der Elst and Albert P. Grootjans

      Article first published online: 9 SEP 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12127

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      In the study we explore the long-term effects of topsoil removal on peat soils for fen meadow restoration. The vegetation and key soil characteristics were monitored. We found a delay in the vegetation recovery, due to acidification after pyrite oxidation. After groundwater discharge was successfully increased, a rapid recovery in the vegetation was observed.

    4. 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.

    5. Strategies for restoring tree seedling recruitment in high conservation value tropical montane forests underplanted with cardamom

      Balram Dhakal, Michelle A. Pinard, I.A.U. Nimal Gunatilleke, C.V. Savitri Gunatilleke and David F.R.P. Burslem

      Article first published online: 4 SEP 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12129

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      We examined the strategies for restoring tree seedling recruitment in a high conservation value tropical forest disturbed by planting cardamom plants in its understorey. Results demonstrated that promoting cardamom population decline through minimal management of the crop stands is the most effective strategy for restoring tree regeneration although removal of relict cardamom plants also promotes tree seedling recruitment in forests.

    6. Impacts of prairie grass species restoration on plant community invasibility and soil processes in abandoned agricultural fields

      Wendy M. Mahaney, Katherine L. Gross, Christopher B. Blackwood and Kurt A. Smemo

      Article first published online: 21 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12128

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      We examine how the strategic selection of native prairie species for restoration can address problems commonly encountered during agricultural land restoration. Restoration using prairie grasses with particular traits reduced N cycling and availability, and led to a decrease in invasion by undesirable species from adjacent unrestored sites.

    7. Succession in salt marshes – large-scale and long-term patterns after abandonment of grazing and drainage

      Franziska Rupprecht, Antonia Wanner, Martin Stock and Kai Jensen

      Article first published online: 18 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12126

  4. Reports

    1. The Tropical managed Forests Observatory: a research network addressing the future of tropical logged forests

      Plinio Sist, Ervan Rutishauser, Marielos Peña-Claros, Alexander Shenkin, Bruno Hérault, Lilian Blanc, Christopher Baraloto, Fidèle Baya, Fabrice Benedet, Katia Emidio da Silva, Laurent Descroix, Joice Nunes Ferreira, Sylvie Gourlet-Fleury, Marcelino Carneiro Guedes, Ismail Bin Harun, Riina Jalonen, Milton Kanashiro, Haruni Krisnawati, Mrigesh Kshatriya, Philippa Lincoln, Lucas Mazzei, Vincent Medjibé, Robert Nasi, Marcus Vinicius N. d'Oliveira, Luis C. de Oliveira, Nicolas Picard, Stephan Pietsch, Michelle Pinard, Hari Priyadi, Francis. E. Putz, Ken Rodney, Vivien Rossi, Anand Roopsind, Ademir Roberto Ruschel, Nur Hajar Zamah Shari, Cintia Rodrigues de Souza, Farida Herry Susanty, Eleneide Doff Sotta, Marisol Toledo, Edson Vidal, Thales A.P. West, Verginia Wortel and Toshihiro Yamada

      Article first published online: 28 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12125

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      To improve our knowledge of the resilience of tropical logged forests, 20 research institutes are now collaborating on studies on the effects of logging on forest structure, productivity, biodiversity and carbon fluxes at large spatial and temporal scales. These studies are carried out in the Tropical managed Forests Observatory (TmFO), an international network including 24 sites and 490 permanent sample plots across South America, Africa and South East Asia.

  5. Special Feature: East Asian Forests

    1. Leaf traits in dominant species from different secondary successional stages of deciduous forest on the Loess Plateau of northern China

      Yongfu Chai, Xiao Liu, Ming Yue, Jiangchao Guo, Mao Wang, Pengcheng Wan, Xiaofei Zhang and Chenguang Zhang

      Article first published online: 28 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12123

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      The need to understand community dynamics through trait-based approaches is increasingly emphasized. Here, we examine changes in 22 leaf traits during succession and identify the changes in plant ecological strategies during secondary succession in the Loess Plateau ecosystem. The results confirm our hypothesis that shifts in leaf traits are different during forest succession, and that there is a combination of leaf traits that can be used to discriminate between the succession stages.

    2. Classification of Korean forests: patterns along geographic and environmental gradients

      Tomáš Černý, Martin Kopecký, Petr Petřík, Jong-Suk Song, Miroslav Šrůtek, Milan Valachovič, Jan Altman and Jiří Doležal

      Article first published online: 28 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12124

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      We provide the first comprehensive classification of Korean forest vegetation based on 3847 relevés classified by hierarchical ISOPAM method. We distinguished 11 forest types well separated along elevational and temperature gradients. These 11 forest types are further grouped into three main vegetation clusters, which are clearly separated by species groups with contrasting migration histories during the postglacial period.

  6. Commentary

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  7. Original Articles

    1. Mapping continuous forest type variation by means of correlating remotely sensed metrics to canopy N:P ratio in a boreal mixedwood forest

      Kemal Gökkaya, Valerie Thomas, Thomas Noland, Harry McCaughey, Ian Morrison and Paul Treitz

      Article first published online: 9 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12122

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      Vegetation N:P ratio is an index of nutrient limitation and availability in plant communities. We predicted N:P ratio using imaging spectroscopy and LiDAR data in a boreal mixedwood forest canopy. The deciduous and coniferous forest type variation is the underlying mechanism that generates the observed spatial pattern in canopy N:P ratio, which is displayed by the N:P ratio maps.

    2. Functional diversity and grazing intensity in sub-alpine and alpine grasslands in Andorra

      Benjamin Komac, Clara Pladevall, Marta Domènech and Rosario Fanlo

      Article first published online: 29 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12119

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      This paper uses a combination of three different functional diversity indices and structural equation modelling in subalpine and alpine grassland communities in Andorra to understand the effects of grazing intensity on functional diversity and improve biodiversity conservation management. Our results highlight that grazing, a structural component of these mountain grasslands, leads to greater functional richness in the most grazed communities.

    3. Discriminant analysis reveals limited association between forest habitat types and the environment in western United States land classification

      Antonín Kusbach, John D. Shaw and James N. Long

      Article first published online: 27 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12121

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      We performed critical assessment of associations between units of the habitat type system and physiographic, climatic, and soils factors in interior western United States land classifications based on 2754 plots from the extensive FIA database, representing 185 different habitat types. Given its broad acceptance and importance in land management, a fundamental reexamination of the habitat type concept is warranted.

  8. Special Feature: Grassland Classification

    1. Vegetation diversity of mesic grasslands (Arrhenatheretalia) in the Iberian Peninsula

      Maria Pilar Rodríguez-Rojo, Federico Fernández-González, Lubomír Tichý and Milan Chytrý

      Article first published online: 23 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12118

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      We present a revised classification of Iberian mesic grasslands based on formal definitions and semisupervised classification. Soil reaction, summer aridity and altitude are the main ecological factors determining community diversity, also related to the biogeographic diversity in the Iberian Peninsula. We propose a list of diagnostic species for the alliances and the vegetation types included in the Arrhenatheretalia order.

  9. Original Articles

    1. Impact of management type and intensity on multiple facets of grassland biodiversity in the French Jura Mountains

      Leslie Mauchamp, Arnaud Mouly, Pierre-Marie Badot and François Gillet

      Article first published online: 17 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12116

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      A survey of mesophilous grasslands in the French Jura Mountains revealed higher diversity in pastures than in grazed hayfields, whatever the diversity facet considered. Diversity metrics computed for taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional facets are negatively influenced by the defoliation intensity, while community-weighted mean trait values preferentially respond to the fertilization regime.

    2. Mapping the local variability of Natura 2000 habitats with remote sensing

      Hannes Feilhauer, Carola Dahlke, Daniel Doktor, Angela Lausch, Sebastian Schmidtlein, Gundula Schulz and Stefanie Stenzel

      Article first published online: 10 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12115

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      The assessment of Natura 2000 habitats is time consuming. We thus test whether remote sensing may help to fulfill this task. Based on a combination of image data, field surveys, and empirical models we successfully mapped habitat types and their floristic variability in a mire complex. Subsequently, effects of the image characteristics on the mapping accuracy were analyzed.

    3. Using a prescribed fire to test custom and standard fuel models for fire behaviour prediction in a non-native, grass-invaded tropical dry shrubland

      Andrew D. Pierce, Sierra McDaniel, Mark Wasser, Alison Ainsworth, Creighton M. Litton, Christian P. Giardina and Susan Cordell

      Article first published online: 3 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12111

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      We recorded fire behavior on at 40 ha prescribed fire in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park and calculated rate of spread and flame length. We compared our observations to those predicted by a custom and several standard fuel models. Our results indicate that standard fuel models may be appropriate for use in Hawai'i, but custom models should be validated and used.

    4. Effects of grazing vs mowing on the functional diversity of sub-Mediterranean productive grasslands

      Andrea Catorci, Sabrina Cesaretti, Luca Malatesta and Federico M. Tardella

      Article first published online: 30 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12103

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      Understanding how different types of disturbance affect functional diversity and traits linked to competitive ability, resource acquisition and resistance strategies is vital to preserve the ecosystem functioning of semi-natural grasslands. In central Apennines, we found that grazing determines the dominance of traits related to resistance strategies, while late mowing increases species and functional diversities and the variety of functional traits.

    5. Invasive grasses change landscape structure and fire behaviour in Hawaii

      Lisa M. Ellsworth, Creighton M. Litton, Alexander P. Dale and Tomoaki Miura

      Article first published online: 26 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12110

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      We investigated evidence for the dominant paradigm that grass invasion and subsequent fire lead to widespread conversion from forest to grassland and to increased frequency and severity of wildfire. While our results show that grasslands are prone to more extreme fire behavior than forests, it was not always the case that increased flammability led to widespread increases in grassland cover.

    6. Edge effects shape the spatial distribution of lianas and epiphytic ferns in Australian tropical rain forest fragments

      Ainhoa Magrach, Javier Rodríguez-Pérez, Mason Campbell and William F. Laurance

      Article first published online: 12 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12104

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      Our paper provides novel insights into the effects of forest fragmentation on inter-specific interactions between trees, lianas and epiphytic ferns in Australian tropical forests. We found that the capabilities of lianas to thrive in disturbed forests could be leading to the demise of epiphytic ferns, with cascading effects on many organisms whose existence depends on the presence of them.

    7. Impacts of temperature and water table manipulation on grassland phenology

      Christine Cornelius, Jan Heinichen, Matthias Drösler and Annette Menzel

      Article first published online: 9 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12105

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      This study focused on the question if reproductive phenology of different grassland species in peatland ecosystems changes with higher temperatures, increased water table level or with a combination of the two. For that, temperature was raised with open-top chambers (OTCs) and water table level was elevated using a pumping system. Phenological key phases were observed weekly with the BBCH code.

    8. Scale-dependent effects of grazing and topographic heterogeneity on plant species richness in a Dutch salt marsh ecosystem

      Jasper L. Ruifrok, Froukje Postma, Han Olff and Christian Smit

      Article first published online: 2 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12107

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      How does the interplay between grazing and topographic heterogeneity affect plant species richness at different spatial scales? We studied long-term grazed and ungrazed salt marshes and found positive effects of topographic heterogeneity at species richness at all spatial scales, and additive positive effects of grazing at most scales. The effectiveness of grazing was highest at low topographic heterogeneity.

    9. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Life after fire: smoke and ash as germination cues in ericads, herbs and graminoids of northern heathlands

      Tessa Bargmann, Inger E. Måren and Vigdis Vandvik

      Article first published online: 2 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12106

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      Our study from a Norwegian semi-natural heathland shows that the fire cues ash and smoke promote germination in both graminoids and ericads. These responses are weakened when seed banks have been exposed to the cues in situ. The prevalence of positive fire cue responses underscores the importance of fire in heathlands, and of burning as a central tool for management.

  10. Special Feature: East Asian Forests

    1. The geographical distribution and differentiation of Chinese beech forests and the association with Quercus

      Ze-Hao Shen, Jing-Yun Fang, Ching-An Chiu and Tze-Ying Chen

      Article first published online: 28 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12108

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      As a dominant temperate forest type, beech forests in China are uniquely restricted in the subtropic mountains by precipitation seasonality of the monsoon climate, and differentiated on both temperature and moisture gradients among the community types. Within species ranges, the local abundance of oak in the beech forest is significantly regulated by topography.

  11. Original Articles

    1. Plant species richness and composition under different disturbance regimes in marginal grasslands of a Japanese terraced paddy field landscape

      Tomoyo F. Koyanagi, Susumu Yamada, Ken-ichi Yonezawa, Yoshiko Kitagawa and Kaoru Ichikawa

      Article first published online: 16 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12100

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      Terraced paddy field landscapes consist of various types of marginal semi-natural grassland habitats maintained by different disturbance regimes. While some species occurred in all habitat types, habitat specialists characterized by specific plant functional groups (PFGs) responded to different disturbance regimes in each habitat type. Marginal semi-natural grassland habitats contribute to the overall biodiversity of terraced paddy field landscapes.

    2. Does fire induce flowering in Brazilian subtropical grasslands?

      Alessandra Fidelis and Carolina Blanco

      Article first published online: 14 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12098

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      Fire is known to trigger flowering in different ecosystems. We aimed to analyze the effect of fire on flowering in plant communities in Brazilian subtropical grasslands, by establishing plots in sites with different fire histories and disturbance types. Fire stimulated flowering, with different responses between functional groups. However, fire season and frequency could be a limitation factor for some groups.

  12. Special Feature: East Asian Forests

    1. Contribution of environmental filtering and dispersal limitation to species turnover of temperate deciduous broad-leaved forests in China

      Yining Liu, Zhiyao Tang and Jingyun Fang

      Article first published online: 10 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12101

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      We applied different ways to study the relative importance of environmental filtering and dispersal limitation shaping species composition of temperate deciduous broadleaf forests in China. All three different approaches illustrate stronger effect of environmental filtering than that of dispersal limitation, indicating that the distribution of most species in temperate forests of China may be limited by the environments.

  13. Original Articles

    1. Suitability and limitations of native species for seed mixtures to re-vegetate degraded areas

      Graça Oliveira, Adelaide Clemente, Alice Nunes and Otília Correia

      Article first published online: 20 FEB 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12099

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      A glasshouse experiment simulated hydroseeding of a Mediterranean quarry with six native species, either alone or in low- and high-density mixtures with other native species. They germinated, established and grew when sown alone, but performed poorly in mixtures, outcompeted by some co-seeded species. Therefore, future designs of hydroseeding mixtures must take the early seedling performance and species morphology into account.

    2. Does long-term monitoring of tropical forests using permanent plots provide unbiased results?

      Olivia Semboli, Denis Beina, Déborah Closset-Kopp, Sylvie Gourlet-Fleury and Guillaume Decocq

      Article first published online: 15 FEB 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12097

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      Even in observational studies conducted in the wild, visitors may unintentionally influence natural processes. Repeated visitation in tropical rain forest permanent plots altered neither the demography of trees, nor species richness and evenness, but species composition was significantly impacted, with more light-demanding trees and lianas, and shade-tolerant herbs of trampled soils, within trails and along trail edges than forest interiors.

    3. Combining ecological, social and technical criteria to select species for forest restoration

      Paula Meli, Miguel Martínez-Ramos, José María Rey-Benayas and Julia Carabias

      Article first published online: 27 JAN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12096

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      We propose a framework to target species for their reintroduction in forest restoration projects. We targeted on species that (1) are naturally important in the reference forest; (2) are least likely to establish naturally; (3) show a wide regional distribution; (4) are socially accepted; and (5) are easy to propagate. Our framework is suitable for several stakeholders interested in forest restoration.

  14. Special Feature: East Asian Forests

    1. The role of tree-fall gaps in the natural regeneration of birch forests in the Taibai Mountains

      Jianyi Y Ren, Abdulrashid Kadir and Ming Yue

      Article first published online: 15 JAN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12090

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      In the Taibai Mountains, birch forests dominated by Betula albo-sinensis and Betula utilis are considered unsustainable for regeneration barriers. Tree-fall gaps play a central role in the natural regeneration of trees. In this study, seed germination and seedling emergence in gap and non-gap plots were investigated to explore the role of tree-fall gaps in the natural regeneration of birch forests.


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