Journal of Vegetation Science

Cover image for Vol. 27 Issue 4

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

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

Impact Factor: 3.151

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2015: 3/66 (Forestry); 34/209 (Plant Sciences); 39/149 (Ecology)

Online ISSN: 1654-1103

Associated Title(s): Applied Vegetation Science


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  1. Research Articles

    1. Co-occurring grassland species vary in their responses to fine-scale soil heterogeneity

      Riin Tamme, Antonio Gazol, Jodi N. Price, Inga Hiiesalu and Meelis Pärtel

      Version of Record online: 26 JUL 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12431

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      Soil heterogeneity can alter community structure if some species benefit more from heterogeneity than others. In experimental grassland communities, larger species foraged among patches in heterogeneous soils and produced more biomass compared to homogeneous conditions. Smaller species were disadvantaged in heterogeneous soils due to stronger competition. Fine-scale soil heterogeneity affects plant growth and species interactions, ultimately determining community structure.

    2. Linking the impacts of plant invasion on community functional structure and ecosystem properties

      Pilar Castro-Díez, Aníbal Pauchard, Anna Traveset and Montserrat Vilà

      Version of Record online: 25 JUL 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12429

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      Invasive plants tend to reduce the species richness of local communities. We explore the consequences of species changes, caused by the invader Carpobrotus spp., from a functional perspective. We compared indexes of functional structure between invaded and non-invaded plots, and related these indexes with ecosystem processes. This approach provides more insight on the functional consequences of plant invasions.

  2. Synthesis

    1. The theory of the nested species–area relationship: geometric foundations of biodiversity scaling

      David Storch

      Version of Record online: 25 JUL 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12428

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      The species-area relationship (SAR) is a major biodiversity pattern. When smaller plots are nested within larger ones, the SAR is triphasic: steep for small areas, then shallow, and steep again at continental scales. This shape is predictable and can be derived using simple geometric arguments, since the steepness of the SAR systematically depends on species rarity at each spatial scale.

  3. Research Articles

    1. Both below-ground and above-ground functional traits can help predict levee grassland root length density as a proxy for flow erosion resistance

      Kenny Helsen, Wouter Vannoppen, Olivier Honnay and Jean Poesen

      Version of Record online: 21 JUL 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12442

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      We show that vegetation-level root length density (RLD), a proxy for flow erosion resistance, is correlated with functional diversity and functional composition, likely through non-additive diversity effects and biomass-ratio effects. This illustrates that database collected functional trait values can be used to predict RLD variation for levee grasslands, possibly presenting a non-destructive alternative to assess grassland erosion resistance.

  4. Forum

    1. How to differentiate facilitation and environmentally driven co-existence

      Manuel J. Steinbauer, Carl Beierkuhnlein, Mohammed A.S. Arfin Khan, David E.V. Harter, Severin D.H. Irl, Anke Jentsch, Andreas H. Schweiger, Jens-Christian Svenning and Jürgen Dengler

      Version of Record online: 21 JUL 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12441

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      Facilitation and environmentally driven coexistence cannot be separated by paired sampling as species can grow together with potential facilitators either due to habitat sharing or due to facilitation. Facilitation studies thus risk misinterpretations, particularly if both, facilitation and environmental heterogeneity increases with environmental severity. Reviewing the literature and using simulations we demonstrate the problem and discuss potential methodological alternatives.

  5. Research Articles

    1. The role of randomization tests in vegetation boundary detection with moving split-window analysis

      László Körmöczi, Zoltán Bátori, László Erdős, Csaba Tölgyesi, Márta Zalatnai and Csaba Varró

      Version of Record online: 12 JUL 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12439

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      We demonstrated that the distribution of dissimilarity values used in moving split-window analysis deviates always significantly from the normal distribution. The effect of some randomisation methods was tested on the power of the statistic. We suggest the use of random shift permutation in moving split-window analysis since this is the most sensitive in distinction between significant and non-significant discontinuities.

  6. Reports

    1. A review of software tools for spell-checking taxon names in vegetation databases

      Viktoria Wagner

      Version of Record online: 12 JUL 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12432

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      I tested the capacity of six software tools to spell-check taxon names in vegetation data. Specifically, I evaluated their ability to proofread names across different taxonomic ranks, organism groups, and geographic regions. The Global Names Resolver was the most powerful software tool. Given some general limitations, all reviewed software should be used in a semi-automatic rather than automatic way.

  7. Forum

    1. Biodiversity–ecosystem function experiments reveal the mechanisms underlying the consequences of biodiversity change in real world ecosystems

      Nico Eisenhauer, Andrew D. Barnes, Simone Cesarz, Dylan Craven, Olga Ferlian, Felix Gottschall, Jes Hines, Agnieszka Sendek, Julia Siebert, Madhav P. Thakur and Manfred Türke

      Version of Record online: 29 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12435

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      In a recent Forum paper, Wardle (Journal of Vegetation Science, 2016) questions the value of biodiversity–ecosystem function (BEF) experiments. While we appreciate that new and complementary experimental approaches are required for advancing the field, we describe how BEF experiments have identified important mechanisms that play a role in real world ecosystems, advancing our understanding of ecosystem responses to species gains and losses. Figure modified after Isbell et al. (2013).

  8. Research Articles

    1. Assessing the factors influencing natural regeneration patterns in the diverse, multi-cohort, and managed forests of Maine, USA

      Arun K. Bose, Aaron Weiskittel, Robert G. Wagner and Christian Kuehne

      Version of Record online: 29 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12433

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      Broad landscape-scale variation in tree seedling composition and abundance in the diverse forests of Maine, USA were examined. Results indicated that mean annual temperature had the strongest influence on both seedling species richness and density, suggesting potential tree seedling sensitivity to climate change in the forests of Maine. However, a variety of other factors were observed to influence tree seedling dynamics.

    2. Functional traits of seeds dispersed through endozoochory by native forest ungulates

      Mélanie Picard, Richard Chevalier, Rachel Barrier, Yves Boscardin and Christophe Baltzinger

      Version of Record online: 20 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12418

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      A seedling of Chenopodium album that germinated in faeces. Photo © Mélanie Picard. We tackle here a plant-animal interaction overlooked in plant community dynamics. We compared the functional traits of plants dispersed by three native ungulates through endozoochory to those of the regional flora. We show that endozoochory applies a biotic filter on plant community through vector's feeding habitat preferences, allowing plants from open habitats to colonize forested areas.

    3. Species composition determines resistance to drought in dry forests of the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence forest region of central Ontario

      Corinne M. Arthur and Jeffery P. Dech

      Version of Record online: 13 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12416

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      Our dendrochonological study demonstrated that species richness had no effect on the community-level stability of growth during drought in temperate pine-hardwood forests on dry substrates. Instead, there were important compositional effects that determined some aspects of stability. Forests with a component of white birch may have greater capacity to dampen the community-level effects of more frequent droughts.

  9. Synthesis

    1. Achievements and challenges in the integration, reuse and synthesis of vegetation plot data

      Susan K. Wiser

      Version of Record online: 13 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12419

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      I review the progress in enabling vegetation plot data to be discovered and integrated to answer exciting, large-scale ecological questions. However, barriers to data integration, reuse and synthesis remain and I describe how they can be overcome. New issues associated with data attribution and acknowledgement for data providers, users and aggregators are emerging and need to be addressed.

  10. Research Articles

    1. Vegetation resilience to mega-drought along a typical floodplain gradient of the southern Murray-Darling Basin, Australia

      Samantha J. Capon and Michael A. Reid

      Version of Record online: 13 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12426

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      Semi-arid floodplain vegetation of the southern Murray-Darling Basin was found to be highly resilient to prolonged drought. Relatively high species (61) and functional diversity persisted after a decade of drying. Diverse soil seed-banks facilitate understory responses to re-wetting rather than persistence during drought. Lake bed vegetation and non-seed bank aquatic species appear most vulnerable to drought.

    2. Multidimensional structure of grass functional traits among species and assemblages

      Brody Sandel, Anne-Christine Monnet and Maria Vorontsova

      Version of Record online: 13 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12422

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      We compiled data on functional traits of grasses to understand their multivariate structure and relationships with climate. Grass species vary along two major axes: the leaf economic spectrum and plant size. Generally, trait-trait correlations among community-weighted means of grass assemblages were predictable from species-level trait-trait correlations, but in some cases environmental filtering acted differently on even well-correlated traits.

    3. Is phylogenetic diversity a good proxy for functional diversity of plant communities? A case study from urban habitats

      Zdeňka Lososová, Natálie Čeplová, Milan Chytrý, Lubomír Tichý, Jiří Danihelka, Karel Fajmon, Deana Láníková, Zdenka Preislerová and Vladimír Řehořek

      Version of Record online: 13 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12414

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      It is often assumed that the patterns of functional diversity reflect phylogenetic diversity in plant communities. We test this relationship in general and specifically for diversity in plant niche preferences, their dispersal strategy and competitiveness. Our results indicate no or very weak relationships in urban plant communities, which challenges the view that phylogeny can be used as proxy for function.

    4. Non-equilibrium dynamics of a wave-regenerated forest subject to hierarchical disturbance

      Satoshi N. Suzuki

      Version of Record online: 13 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12424

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      We assessed long-term dynamics of a wave-regenerated forest, long thought to be a shifting-mosaic steady-state system. The forest changed drastically in structure and species composition after a major typhoon in 1959, and it continued to change during the subsequent 50 yr. We conclude that this system is in non-equilibrium state driven by both small-frequent and large-infrequent disturbance.

    5. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Does tree canopy closure moderate the effect of climate warming on plant species composition of temperate Himalayan oak forest?

      Kuber P. Bhatta and Ole R. Vetaas

      Version of Record online: 13 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12423

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      Climate warming remains as a dominant driver of the temporal compositional changes in the temperate oak forests of central Himalaya. However, forest-canopy closure may moderate the changes by governing the relative abundances of different species depending on their adaptive characteristics. The magnitude of the temporal vegetation change would therefore depend on both the degree of macroclimate warming and forest-canopy closure.

    6. Environmental filtering and spatial processes in urban riparian forests

      Marie-Hélène Brice, Stéphanie Pellerin and Monique Poulin

      Version of Record online: 13 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12425

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      We investigated the independent and synergistic effects of natural and anthropogenic filters on plant trait composition of urban riparian forests. We showed that under severe natural disturbance regimes, the effect of local filters, mainly flooding, outweighed the negative effects of urban filters. However, the alteration of natural flooding processes by human activities was also a major mechanism influencing trait composition.

    7. Elevation and topography influence community structure, biomass and host tree interactions of lianas in tropical montane forests of southern Ecuador

      Belén Fadrique and Jürgen Homeier

      Version of Record online: 13 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12427

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      Lianas are an important component of tropical forests. We show that their biomass on average decreases by 0.18 Mg·ha−1 per 100 m of elevation in humid tropical forests. In the studied Andean montane forests liana density and tree infestation also declined with elevation. Bigger trees had more and larger lianas, but host tree growth was reduced by liana infestation.

    8. The effects of long-term experimental warming on the structure of three High Arctic plant communities

      Marc Edwards and Gregory H.R. Henry

      Version of Record online: 13 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12417

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      How will High Arctic plant communities respond to increasing temperatures? We measured community structure after 18 yr of experimental warming in three plant communities using vegetation surveys and hand held NDVI. Our results suggest community level resistance to warming in terms of plant cover and height, but compositional differences support the hypothesis that climate change responses will be community specific.

    9. Mapping pollination types with remote sensing

      Hannes Feilhauer, Daniel Doktor, Sebastian Schmidtlein and Andrew K. Skidmore

      Version of Record online: 13 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12421

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      Spatial patterns of pollination types (wind-, insect-, and self-pollination) can be mapped at local scales with airborne imaging spectroscopy. We tested this potential and analyzed why information about pollination types can be retrieved from spectral data. The approach worked because pollination types differed in leaf and canopy traits that determine the spectral signal.

    10. Measuring ecological specialization along a natural stress gradient using a set of complementary niche breadth indices

      Marta Carboni, David Zelený and Alicia T.R. Acosta

      Version of Record online: 18 MAY 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12413

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      We tested for variation in ecological specialization along the sea-inland gradient in Mediterranean coastal dune communities. We quantified specialization based on a set of complementary indices. Specialist species tended to dominate the most stressful habitats in terms of both resource use and ecological impact. Nevertheless, we also found mismatches among indices, suggesting that considering multiple niche dimensions is important.


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