Applied Vegetation Science

Cover image for Vol. 17 Issue 2

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: 2.263

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2012: 8/62 (Forestry); 58/197 (Plant Sciences); 61/136 (Ecology)

Online ISSN: 1654-109X

Associated Title(s): Journal of Vegetation Science


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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. Community ontogeny at the roadside: Critical life-cycle events throughout a sequential process of primary colonization

      Sandra Magro, María Dolores Jiménez, Miguel Angel Casado, Ignacio Mola, Juan Maria Arenas, Jose Francisco Martín-Duque, Ana Vazquez and Luis Balaguer

      Article first published online: 29 JAN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12095

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      The present study highlights the importance of the ontogeny of pioneers that occur concurrently with the action of environmental filters throughout the early community assembly. On roadcuts, we detected seedling emergence and seedling survival as thresholds determining community richness and cover respectively. Technical solutions as topsoil spreading, help in overcoming these threshold and trigger plant community development.

    4. 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.

  4. Special Feature: Grassland Classification

    1. Grassland vegetation of the Molinio-Arrhenatheretea class in the NW Balkan Peninsula

      Urban Šilc, Svetlana Aćić, Željko Škvorc, Daniel Krstonošić, Jozo Franjić and Zora Dajić Stevanović

      Article first published online: 21 JAN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12094

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      We classified 3635 relevés of the class Molinio-Arrhenatheretea from the NW Balkans. The floristic composition and ecological conditions of mesic meadows and pastures from a large geographical region were described. We made a list of the syntaxa occurring in the region.

  5. Original Articles

    1. Red Lists and conservation prioritization of plant communities – a methodological framework

      Christian Berg, Anja Abdank, Maike Isermann, Florian Jansen, Tiemo Timmermann and Jürgen Dengler

      Article first published online: 21 JAN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12093

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      We present a conservation assessment methodology for plant communities. Our approach combines ideas from modern red-listing and prioritization into a methodological framework. For each vegetation type, we derive a ‘need for action’ based on the separate assessment of endangerment and conservation value. All steps are based on explicit rules for successive aggregation of quantitative criteria via decision matrices.

    2. The impact of native large herbivores and fire on the vegetation dynamics in the Cape renosterveld shrublands of South Africa: insights from a six-yr field experiment

      Frans G.T. Radloff, Ladislav Mucina and Dirk Snyman

      Article first published online: 20 JAN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12086

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      The effect of fire and herbivory on three vegetation states (shrubland, grazing lawn grassland and tussock grassland) of a Mediterranean-type shrubland ecosystem in South Africa were investigated. Palatable shrubs proliferated in tussock grassland protected from herbivory. Unpalatable shrubs invaded burnt grazing lawn areas exposed to herbivory. The shrubland state was affected by fire, herbivory and the interaction between the two.

  6. 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.

  7. Original Articles

    1. Nutrient pulses after prescribed winter fires and preferential patterns of N uptake may contribute to the expansion of Brachypodium pinnatum (L.) Beauv in highland grasslands

      Rosa-Maria Canals, Javier Pedro, Esther Rupérez and Leticia San-Emeterio

      Article first published online: 15 JAN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12088

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      Winter prescribed fires are used in Pyrennees to prevent semi-natural grasslands from shrub encroachment. This research tracks the soil changes produced by experimental burnings and analyses its potential relationship with the aggressive expansion of the grass Brachypodium pinnatum. The results of a stable-isotope field experiment suggest that B. pinnatum may take advantage of the dynamic pulse of inorganic-N released by fires.

    2. Response of community-aggregated plant functional traits along grazing gradients: insights from African semi-arid grasslands

      Cristian A. Moreno García, Jürgen Schellberg, Frank Ewert, Katharina Brüser, Pablo Canales-Prati, Anja Linstädter, Roelof J. Oomen, Jan C. Ruppert and Susana B. Perelman

      Article first published online: 15 JAN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12092

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      Understanding the functional response of vegetation along grazing gradients might assist range management decisions (e.g. frequency and intensity of grazing, restoration practices). We studied the response of community-aggregated plant functional traits to grazing by applying a taxon-free sampling. At water points vicinity, vegetation with fast-growth strategy-with faster and more efficient light capture-resists heavy grazing and provides high-quality nutritional forage.

    3. Species distribution modelling for plant communities: stacked single species or multivariate modelling approaches?

      Emilie B. Henderson, Janet L. Ohmann, Matthew J. Gregory, Heather M. Roberts and Harold Zald

      Article first published online: 15 JAN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12085

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      Community-level mapping presents unique challenges. We explore two approaches to multi-species mapping: stacking single-species models (presence-absence and abundance) and a multivariate model. We discuss map strengths and weaknesses for several applications (e.g. conservation and climate change projections). Multivariate maps were useful for a broader range of applications than stacked maps, although each single-species model excelled in at least one dimension.

    4. Predictive modelling and monitoring of Ellenberg moisture value validates restoration success in floodplain forests

      Petra Lang and Jörg Ewald

      Article first published online: 3 JAN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12089

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      A GAM-based predictive vegetation model was produced to project alluvial forest vegetation as a response to a changed hydrological regime. Modeling of Ellenberg indicator value for moisture instead of single species or vegetation types is a new approach to capture the effects of restoration measures on floodplain vegetation as a whole and will guide future management.

    5. How does vegetation sampling in different parts of the growing season influence classification results and analyses of beta diversity?

      Marie Vymazalová, Lubomír Tichý and Irena Axmanová

      Article first published online: 3 JAN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12087

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      We surveyed whether combining vegetation plots recorded in different parts of the growing season might confound vegetation classifications or beta-diversity estimates of temperate deciduous forests and dry grasslands. Based on our results, we recommend using summer-recorded plots in classifications, as they are the most robust to various classifications settings, well represented in databases and correspond approximately to the phenological optimum.

    6. Is spring burning a viable management tool for species-rich grasslands?

      Per Milberg, Brenda Akoto, Karl-Olof Bergman, Håkan Fogelfors, Heidi Paltto and Malin Tälle

      Article first published online: 3 JAN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12091

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      Within the context of evidence-based conservation, we provide clear evidence that spring burning is not a viable long-term alternative to grazing or mowing. We do this by using odds ratios for finding indicator species, rather than using more traditional methods of vegetation analyses, and by meta-analyses of the outcomes from 11 field trials.

    7. Using partial volumes to estimate available browse biomass in Southern African semi-arid savannas

      Caryn A. Penderis and Kevin P. Kirkman

      Article first published online: 17 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12084

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      Our study provides a non-linear regression analysis method for estimating available browse biomass of savanna tree species from calculated tree partial canopy volumes. The use of partial volumes accounts for variation in canopy shapes, and allows for the determination of available browse biomass between upper and lower canopy bounds. The general models developed provide an objective means of determining the browsing capacity of a tree population.

    8. Functional diversity of ground-layer plant communities in old-growth and managed northern hardwood forests

      Francesco M. Sabatini, Julia I. Burton, Robert M. Scheller, Kathryn L. Amatangelo and David J. Mladenoff

      Article first published online: 16 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12083

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      We elucidated a set of life-history traits providing a synthetic view of vegetation response to forest management. Functional diversity of ground-layer plant communities was related to differences in environmental conditions related to forest structure, suggesting that habitat filtering contributes to compositional differences at the community level. We discussed these differences with reference to plants' general strategies and carbon economy.

    9. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Unmanned aircraft systems help to map aquatic vegetation

      Eva Husson, Olle Hagner and Frauke Ecke

      Article first published online: 15 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12072

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      Unmanned aircraft systems are convenient providers of sub-decimetre-resolution aerial images. We found that such images allow for the identification and mapping of non-submerged aquatic and riparian vegetation at the species level as well as for abundance estimates.

    10. Twentieth century shifts in abundance and composition of vegetation types of the Sierra Nevada, CA, US

      Christopher R. Dolanc, Hugh D. Safford, Solomon Z. Dobrowski and James H. Thorne

      Article first published online: 4 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12079

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      We used two enormous data sets that span all land jurisdictions in the Sierra Nevada, CA to compare historical and modern conditions of major vegetation types. For all types of the west slope, tree density is markedly higher, but east-slope types appear unchanged. Changes are likely driven by a combination of management and climate change.

    11. Application of consensus theory to formalize expert evaluations of plant species distribution models

      Maarten van Zonneveld, Nora Castañeda, Xavier Scheldeman, Jacob van Etten and Patrick Van Damme

      Article first published online: 29 NOV 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12081

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      Foresters, botanists, ecologists and park managers are a key information source to validate plant distribution models because of their first-hand experience with species occurrence and absence. In this study, we introduce a method to formalize their evaluations based on culture consensus theory and we present an online tool with Google Earth interface to ask experts feedback on distribution maps.

    12. Restoration of Neotropical grasslands degraded by quarrying using hay transfer

      Soizig Le Stradic, Elise Buisson and Geraldo W. Fernandes

      Article first published online: 25 NOV 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12074

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      Currently threatened by mining and quarrying, we tested to restore campos rupestres, neotropical grasslands, using hay transfer. Few seedlings emerged within 14 mo despite the large number of seeds contained in the hay. We suggest that germination issues of the campo rupestre species are the first limitation for restoring degraded campos rupestres using hay transfer.

    13. The natural regeneration of calcareous grassland at a landscape scale: 150 years of plant community re-assembly on Salisbury Plain, UK

      John W. Redhead, John Sheail, James M. Bullock, Andrea Ferreruela, Kevin J. Walker and Richard F. Pywell

      Article first published online: 25 NOV 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12076

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      We examined natural regeneration in an extensive calcareous grassland landscape over a 150 yrs timescale. Results showed that natural regeneration takes over a century when measured by functional traits and plant community composition, despite comparatively rapid changes in the occurrence of individual species. These findings emphasize the value of existing ancient calcareous grasslands and the challenges facing restoration efforts.

    14. Structural and floristic diversity of mixed tropical rain forest in New Caledonia: new data from the New Caledonian Plant Inventory and Permanent Plot Network (NC-PIPPN)

      Thomas Ibanez, Jérôme Munzinger, Gilles Dagostini, Vanessa Hequet, Frédéric Rigault, Tanguy Jaffré and Philippe Birnbaum

      Article first published online: 13 NOV 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12070

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      The New Caledonian Plant Inventory and Permanent Plot Network (NC-PIPPN) offers new opportunities to investigate structural and floristic diversity of tropical rainforest in the biodiversity hotspot of New Caledonia. Through the study of 201 plots and the inventory of 28,640 trees belonging to 749 species, 240 genera and 92 families we explored the environmental and spatial drivers of rainforest diversity.


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