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BIOLOGY (1437 journals)                  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 | Last

Showing 1 - 200 of 1720 Journals sorted alphabetically
AAPS Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 21)
Achievements in the Life Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
ACS Synthetic Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 23)
Acta Biologica Colombiana     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Acta Biologica Hungarica     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Acta Biologica Sibirica     Open Access  
Acta Biomaterialia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27)
Acta Biotheoretica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Acta Chiropterologica     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
acta ethologica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Acta Limnologica Brasiliensia     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Acta Médica Costarricense     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Acta Musei Silesiae, Scientiae Naturales : The Journal of Silesian Museum in Opava     Open Access  
Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis     Open Access  
Acta Parasitologica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Acta Scientiarum. Biological Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Acta Scientifica Naturalis     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Actualidades Biológicas     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Advanced Health Care Technologies     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Advanced Studies in Biology     Open Access  
Advances in Antiviral Drug Design     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Advances in Bioinformatics     Open Access   (Followers: 20)
Advances in Biological Regulation     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Advances in Biosensors and Bioelectronics     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Advances in Cell Biology     Open Access   (Followers: 25)
Advances in Cellular and Molecular Biology of Membranes and Organelles     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 13)
Advances in Developmental Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
Advances in DNA Sequence-Specific Agents     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Advances in Ecological Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 46)
Advances in Environmental Sciences - International Journal of the Bioflux Society     Open Access   (Followers: 21)
Advances in Enzyme Research     Open Access   (Followers: 9)
Advances in Experimental Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Advances in Genome Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Advances in High Energy Physics     Open Access   (Followers: 19)
Advances in Human Biology     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Advances in Life Science and Technology     Open Access   (Followers: 14)
Advances in Life Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Advances in Marine Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 16)
Advances in Molecular and Cell Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 23)
Advances in Organ Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Advances in Planar Lipid Bilayers and Liposomes     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Advances in Regenerative Biology     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Advances in Space Biology and Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Structural Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Advances in Virus Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
African Journal of Range & Forage Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
AFRREV STECH : An International Journal of Science and Technology     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Ageing Research Reviews     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Aging Cell     Open Access   (Followers: 11)
Agrokémia és Talajtan     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Agrokreatif Jurnal Ilmiah Pengabdian kepada Masyarakat     Open Access  
AJP Cell Physiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
AJP Endocrinology and Metabolism     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 23)
AJP Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Al-Kauniyah : Jurnal Biologi     Open Access  
Alasbimn Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
AMB Express     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Ambix     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
American Biology Teacher     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 13)
American Fern Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
American Journal of Bioethics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
American Journal of Human Biology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
American Journal of Medical and Biological Research     Open Access   (Followers: 8)
American Journal of Plant Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 19)
American Journal of Primatology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
American Malacological Bulletin     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
American Naturalist     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 73)
Amphibia-Reptilia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Anaerobe     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Analytical Methods     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Anatomical Science International     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Animal Cells and Systems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Annales de Limnologie - International Journal of Limnology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Annales françaises d'Oto-rhino-laryngologie et de Pathologie Cervico-faciale     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Annales Henri Poincaré     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Annales UMCS, Biologia     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Annals of Applied Biology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Annals of Biomedical Engineering     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18)
Annals of Human Biology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 16)
Annual Review of Biophysics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 25)
Annual Review of Cancer Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 39)
Annual Review of Food Science and Technology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 16)
Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 20)
Annual Review of Phytopathology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Anthropological Review     Open Access   (Followers: 24)
Anti-Infective Agents     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Antibiotics     Open Access   (Followers: 9)
Antioxidants     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Antioxidants & Redox Signaling     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Anzeiger für Schädlingskunde     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Apidologie     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Apmis     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
APOPTOSIS     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Applied Bionics and Biomechanics     Open Access   (Followers: 8)
Applied Vegetation Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9)
Aquaculture Environment Interactions     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Aquaculture International     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 22)
Aquaculture Reports     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Aquaculture, Aquarium, Conservation & Legislation - International Journal of the Bioflux Society     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Aquatic Biology     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Aquatic Ecology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 32)
Aquatic Ecosystem Health & Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Aquatic Science and Technology     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Aquatic Toxicology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20)
Archaea     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Archiv für Molluskenkunde: International Journal of Malacology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Archives of Biomedical Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Archives of Microbiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Archives of Natural History     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Archives of Oral Biology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Archives of Virology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Archivum Immunologiae et Therapiae Experimentalis     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Arid Ecosystems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Arquivos do Instituto Biológico     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Arquivos do Museu Dinâmico Interdisciplinar     Open Access  
Arthropod Structure & Development     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Arthropods     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Artificial DNA: PNA & XNA     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Artificial Photosynthesis     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Asian Bioethics Review     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Asian Journal of Biodiversity     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Asian Journal of Biological Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Asian Journal of Cell Biology     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Asian Journal of Developmental Biology     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Asian Journal of Medical and Biological Research     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Asian Journal of Nematology     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Asian Journal of Poultry Science     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Australian Life Scientist     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Australian Mammalogy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Autophagy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Avian Biology Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Avian Conservation and Ecology     Open Access   (Followers: 13)
Bacteriology Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Bacteriophage     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Bangladesh Journal of Bioethics     Open Access  
Bangladesh Journal of Plant Taxonomy     Open Access  
Bangladesh Journal of Scientific Research     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Berita Biologi     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Between the Species     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Bio Tribune Magazine     Hybrid Journal  
BIO Web of Conferences     Open Access  
BIO-Complexity     Open Access  
Bio-Grafía. Escritos sobre la Biología y su enseñanza     Open Access  
Bioanalytical Reviews     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Biocatalysis and Biotransformation     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Biochemistry and Cell Biology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Biochimie     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
BioControl     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Biocontrol Science and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Biodemography and Social Biology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
BioDiscovery     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Biodiversity : Research and Conservation     Open Access   (Followers: 28)
Biodiversity and Natural History     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Biodiversity Data Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Biodiversity Informatics     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Biodiversity Information Science and Standards     Open Access  
Bioedukasi : Jurnal Pendidikan Biologi FKIP UM Metro     Open Access  
Bioeksperimen : Jurnal Penelitian Biologi     Open Access  
Bioelectrochemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Bioelectromagnetics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Bioenergy Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Bioengineering and Bioscience     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
BioEssays     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
Bioethics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
BioéthiqueOnline     Open Access  
Biofabrication     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Biogeosciences (BG)     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
Biogeosciences Discussions (BGD)     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Bioinformatics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 298)
Bioinformatics and Biology Insights     Open Access   (Followers: 15)
Bioinspiration & Biomimetics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Biointerphases     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Biojournal of Science and Technology     Open Access  
Biologia     Hybrid Journal  
Biologia on-line : Revista de divulgació de la Facultat de Biologia     Open Access  
Biological Bulletin     Partially Free   (Followers: 5)
Biological Control     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Biological Invasions     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
Biological Journal of the Linnean Society     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
Biological Letters     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Biological Procedures Online     Open Access  
Biological Psychiatry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 42)
Biological Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Biological Research     Open Access  
Biological Rhythm Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Biological Theory     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Biological Trace Element Research     Hybrid Journal  
Biologicals     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9)
Biologics: Targets & Therapy     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Biologie Aujourd'hui     Full-text available via subscription  
Biologie in Unserer Zeit (Biuz)     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 41)
Biologija     Open Access  
Biology     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Biology and Philosophy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
Biology Bulletin     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Biology Bulletin Reviews     Hybrid Journal  

        1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 | Last

Journal Cover Applied Vegetation Science
  [SJR: 0.994]   [H-I: 46]   [9 followers]  Follow
   Full-text available via subscription Subscription journal
   ISSN (Print) 1402-2001 - ISSN (Online) 1654-109X
   Published by IAVS Homepage  [2 journals]
  • Biogeographic variability of coastal perennial grasslands at the European
    • Authors: S Del Vecchio; E Fantinato, J A M Janssen, F Bioret, A Acosta, I Prisco, R Tzonev, C Marcenò, J Rodwell, G Buffa
      Abstract: QuestionCoastal environments have often been described as azonal. While this characteristic is clear for the foredune system, it seems less evident for more inland fixed dunes, which host habitats of major conservation concerns, whose features seem to be more related to local climatic conditions. We hypothesized that, differently from other coastal habitats, dune perennial grasslands differ floristically and structurally across their European range and that patterns of variation are linked to the corresponding climate.LocationEuropean coasts (Atlantic Ocean, Baltic, Mediterranean, and Black Sea).MethodsWe used a large dataset of phytosociological relevés, representative of coastal grasslands all along their European range. The role of climatic variables (temperature, precipitation and continentality) in determining the variability in species composition and vegetation structure (by means of life forms) was investigated through CCA, DCA and GLM. The degree of concentration of species occurrences within groups was calculated through the Phi coefficient.ResultsThrough multivariate analyses we identified seven major types of coastal grassland, corresponding to different geographical areas. The groups significantly differed in their climatic envelope, as well as in their species composition and community structure.ConclusionOur results confirm the hypothesis that coastal dune perennial grasslands are subjected to local climate which exerts significant effects on both floristic composition and community structure. As a consequence, coastal grasslands are particularly prone to the effect of possible climate change which may alter species composition and distribution, and lead to shifts in the distribution of native plant communities.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2017-12-08T02:42:17.598749-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12356
  • Effects of fire regime on plant species richness and composition differ
           among forest, woodland and heath vegetation
    • Authors: Claire N. Foster; Philip S. Barton, Christopher I. MacGregor, Jane A. Catford, Wade Blanchard, David B. Lindenmayer
      Abstract: QuestionDo the effects of fire regimes on plant species richness and composition differ among floristically similar vegetation types'LocationBooderee National Park, south-eastern Australia.MethodsWe completed floristic surveys of 87 sites in Sydney Coastal dry sclerophyll vegetation, where fire history records have been maintained for over 55 years. We tested for associations between different aspects of the recent fire history and plant species richness and composition, and whether these relationships were consistent among structurally defined forest, woodland and heath vegetation types.ResultsThe relationship between fire regime variables and plant species richness and composition differed among vegetation types, despite the three vegetation types having similar species pools. Fire frequency was positively related to species richness in woodland, negatively related to species richness in heath, and unrelated to species richness in forest. These different relationships were explained by differences in the associations between fire history and species traits among vegetation types. The negative relationship between fire frequency and species richness in heath vegetation was underpinned by reduced occurrence of resprouting species at high fire frequency sites (more than four fires in 55 years). However, in forest and woodland vegetation, resprouting species were not negatively associated with fire frequency.ConclusionsWe hypothesize that differing relationships among vegetation types were underpinned by differences in fire behaviour, and/or biotic and abiotic conditions, leading to differences in plant species mortality and post-fire recovery among vegetation types. Our findings suggest that even when there is a high proportion of shared species between vegetation types, fires can have very different effects on vegetation communities, depending on the structural vegetation type. Both research and management of fire regimes may therefore benefit from considering vegetation types as separate management units.We investigated associations between fire history and plant species richness and composition in three structurally defined vegetation types. Fire frequency was positively associated with species richness in woodland, negatively associated in heath, and unrelated to species richness in forest. These different associations are likely unpinned by variation in fire behaviour, abiotic conditions and biotic interactions among forests, woodlands and heaths.
      PubDate: 2017-11-29T21:50:50.360985-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12345
  • Assessment of prescribed fire and cutting as means of controlling the
           invasion of subalpine grasslands by Echinospartum horridum
    • Authors: P Nuche; B Komac, M Gartzia, J Vilellas, R Reiné, C.L Alados
      Abstract: AimsSubalpine grassland ecosystems have some of the highest biodiversity in Europe and constitute high-value natural resources. These grasslands have been under threat because of the abandonment of traditional agro-pastoral activities and subsequent invasion by woody species. In the Central Pyrenees (Spain), several management techniques have been used to stop the expansion of the highly encroaching shrub Echinospartum horridum. However, the ways in which these techniques affect the recovery of subalpine grasslands are poorly understood. The final goal of this study is to gain information about the effects of the E. horridum management practices an provide recommendations for the local stakeholders.MethodsThis study evaluated the efficacy of controlled fires and mechanical removal of aboveground vegetation in controlling the expansion of E. horridum into subalpine grasslands in the Central Pyrenees. E. horridum demography (germination and survival), the soil seed bank and soil properties were recorded in two E. horridum stands where vegetation was previously removed by (1) fire (Burning treatment), or (2) mechanical removal (Cutting treatment), and in an undisturbed E. horridum stand (Control).ResultsThe Burning treatment increased germination and survival of E. horridum seedlings more than the Cutting treatment, relative to the Control. Therefore, Cutting appeared to be a better option for controlling E. horridum. Soil seed density was higher in the management treatments than in the Control, but it did not harbor subalpine grasslands species. E. horridum removal favored the recharge of the soil with seeds that arrived by dispersal. The soil seed bank in the Burning treatment had higher seed abundance and seed diversity than in the Cutting treatment; however, fire promoted the loss of soil nutrients.ConclusionsThe soil seed bank composition (low abundance and diversity of native species) coupled with the rapid regeneration rate of E. horridum would prevent the recovery of the subalpine grassland based on the soil seed bank alone. Traditional shepherding has been previously reported to favor seed dispersal, and here we recommend E. horridum removal with Cutting treatment as an additional practice for an integrated management and recovery of the subalpine grasslands.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2017-11-23T21:45:27.070347-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12354
  • Functional similarity analysis highlights ecosystem impacts and
           restoration needs
    • Authors: Robin J. Pakeman; Rob J. Lewis
      Abstract: AimsTo test a recently developed method of assessing functional beta-diversity – as the difference in location of the convex hull in trait space - as a means of assessing the impact of species loss and colonisation over time on functional composition. This approach was tested using data from a survey and subsequent resurvey of Scottish coastal vegetation.LocationScotland, UK.ResultsFixed dunes, slacks, unimproved grassland and mires showed the highest functional overlap through time (high correspondence in convex hull position between two surveys), whilst saltmarsh, improved grassland and heath showed the lowest. Fixed dune was the most stable in terms of retaining the highest proportion of the original convex hull, whilst salt marsh was least stable. Salt marsh also showed the highest new functional space occupied, whilst mires and slack showed the least colonisation by functionally distinct species. Generally sites on the west coast of Scotland were most stable, whilst those on the east showed the greatest functional changes. Assessing functional beta-diversity provided a different picture to assessing species beta-diversity; high species turnover might have little impact on the functional characteristics of the vegetation, whereas the invasion of one functionally different species can have a sizeable impact on ecosystem processes.ConclusionsThe method proved effective in highlighting habitats and sites where species changes had the greatest impact on the functional space occupied by the plant assemblage. The method provides complementary information to that derived from other types of analysis, including about the potential needs for improved management or full-scale restoration.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2017-11-23T21:40:35.466856-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12353
  • Seed addition and biomass removal key to restoring native forbs in
           degraded temperate grassland
    • Authors: David P. Johnson; Jane A. Catford, Don A. Driscoll, Philip Gibbons
      Abstract: QuestionsLong-term restoration of native forb diversity can only be achieved if native forb species can recruit (colonise and establish) and reproduce. We asked whether native forbs in a temperate grassland were seed limited, and how the recruitment of native and exotic forbs is affected by grassland structure and resource availability.LocationAustralian Capital Territory, south-eastern Australia.MethodsWe conducted a field experiment in a temperate grassland dominated by a native tussock grass to assess effects of: 1) addition of native forb seed, 2) thinning of native grass tussocks, 3) leaf litter removal, and 4) exotic plant removal on the recruitment of native and exotic forbs. These four actions can alter grassland structure and the availability of soil nutrients, soil moisture, and light. We used generalised linear mixed models to determine the importance of seed addition, grassland structure and resource availability on the richness and abundance of sown native forbs, and the abundance of exotic forb seedlings and unsown native forbs.ResultsAdding seed increased the species richness and abundance of native forbs. Tussock thinning and litter removal increased species richness and abundance of sown native forbs, and the abundance of exotic forb seedlings. Exotic plant removal also increased the abundance of sown native forbs. Abundance of unsown native forb species was unaffected by the experimental treatments. Species richness and abundance of native forbs and abundance of exotic forbs declined with increasing tussock grass cover. Leaf litter restricted the abundance of native forb species more than exotic forb species.ConclusionNative forb recruitment predominantly relied upon seed addition, suggesting that seed limitation is a major barrier to the recovery of degraded grasslands. Reducing the cover of living grass tussocks facilitated recruitment of native and exotic forbs, and removing litter disproportionally increased recruitment of native forbs compared with exotics. Combining seed addition with the reduction of both living and dead grass biomass should help restore native grassland forbs.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2017-11-19T08:05:21.321327-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12352
  • Functional response of plant assemblages to management practices in
           road–field boundaries
    • Authors: Clémence Chaudron; Rémi Perronne, Francesca Di Pietro
      Abstract: QuestionsManagement practices implemented on road verges are partly established to preserve biodiversity in agricultural landscapes. Their evaluation was primarily based on the analysis of the taxonomic structure and composition of communities. What is the relationship between management practices and the functional characteristics of road–field plants within elements'LocationWest-central France.MethodsWe sampled the berm, the embankment and the field margin of 40 road–field boundaries located in west-central France, an area where delayed mowing of some berms has been practised since 2009 for biodiversity reasons. We characterized management practices implemented on the different elements, i.e. the frequency and timing of mowing (early summer or late summer), the frequency of herbicide treatment in field margins and the N input rate. We retrieved from databases seven functional traits and types known to be influenced by management practices. To identify relationships between traits or types and environmental variables we first performed partial RLQ analyses to remove any potential confounding effect of the landscape context studied. We then computed fourth-corner statistics to quantify relationships between traits or types, environmental variables and partial RLQ axes.ResultsLate mowing of the berm promoted nitrophilous species within berms and competitive rather than ruderal species within arable field margins. The frequency of herbicide treatment in field margins promoted broad-leaf species within this element and, to a lesser extent, within embankments. Finally, the functional characteristics of communities of the three elements were not influenced by the level of N input in field margins.ConclusionsIn our environmental context, managing road verges affected the functional structure of plant assemblages both within them and within their adjacent arable field margins. We suggest a single early mowing of berms as a valuable practice for both conservation purposes and weed risk control in adjacent field margins.Management practices of road verges adjacent to arable fields are partly established for conservation purposes, usually relying on a taxonomic approach. Here, we performed partial RLQ analyses to quantify relationships between plant functional traits and management practices. We highlighted that late mowing of the berm favored nitrophilous species within berms and competitive rather than ruderal species within inner-field margins.
      PubDate: 2017-11-19T05:45:31.725735-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12346
  • The complexity of forest borders determines the understorey vegetation
    • Authors: Jessica Lindgren; Adam Kimberley, Sara A. O. Cousins
      Abstract: QuestionsWhat are the most important drivers of plant species richness (gamma-diversity) and species turnover (beta-diversity) in the field layer of a forest edge' Does the tree and shrub species richness structure and complexity affect the richness of forest and grassland specialist species'LocationSoutheast Sweden.MethodsWe sampled 50 forest edges with different levels of structural complexity in agricultural landscapes. In each border we recorded trees, shrubs and herb layer species in a 50-m transect parallel with the forest. We investigated species composition and species turnover in relation to the proportions of gaps in the border and the diversity of trees and shrubs.ResultsTotal plant species richness in the field layer was mainly explained by the proportion of gaps to areas with full canopy cover and tree diversity. Increasing number of gaps promoted higher diversity of grassland specialist species within the field layer, resulting in open forest borders with the highest overall species richness. Gaps did however have a negative impact on forest species richness. Conversely, increasing forest species richness was positively related to tree diversity, but the number of grassland specialist species was negatively affected by tree diversity.ConclusionsManaging forest borders, and therefore increasing the area of semi-open habitats in fragmented agricultural landscapes, provides future opportunities to create a network of suitable habitats for both grassland and deciduous forest specialist species. Such measures therefore have the potential to increase functional connectivity and support dispersal of species in homogeneous forest/agricultural landscapes.The border between production-forest and crop-fields may contain a diversity of deciduous trees, shrubs and plants in the field layer. Complex borders that include gaps, trees of varying height and different shrubs are more species-rich than simple borders. By managing borders it is possible to increase connectivity and species richness in landscapes with little other natural or semi-natural habitats left.
      PubDate: 2017-11-13T02:32:08.318738-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12344
  • Environment and landscape rather than planting design are the drivers of
           success in long-term restoration of riparian Atlantic forest
    • Authors: Marcio Seiji Suganuma; José Marcelo D. Torezan, Giselda Durigan
      Abstract: QuestionIdentifying the factors that lead to the success of restoration projects has been a major challenge in ecological restoration. Here we ask which factors, aside from time since restoration began, drive the recovery of tree biomass, density and richness of the understorey in riparian forests undergoing restoration.LocationSemideciduous Atlantic Forest with tropical climate and deep, fertile soils, southeast Brazil.MethodsWe sampled tree basal area (DBH ≥ 5 cm), density and richness of the understorey (DBH 
      PubDate: 2017-11-13T02:32:01.300389-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12341
  • Exotic plant invasion in agricultural landscapes: a matter of dispersal
           mode and disturbance intensity
    • Authors: Francesco Boscutti; Maurizia Sigura, Serena De Simone, Lorenzo Marini
      Abstract: QuestionDoes dispersal mode and/or disturbance intensity affect the spread of exotic species across agricultural landscapes'LocationFriuli Venezia Giulia, NE Italy.MethodsWe analyzed alpha- and beta-diversity of native and exotic plants in 128 plots distributed in four habitats (viz. woods, hedgerows, field boundaries and meadows), in four agricultural areas in North-East Italy, along a gradient of increasing cover of arable land in the landscape. We used a multi-model inference approach to explore the relationships between species diversity and landscape variables (i.e. agricultural disturbance) testing the role of dispersal mode (i.e. biotic, abiotic) for both native and exotic plants. For each habitat and plant trait combination, distance decay of similarity was assessed by regression on distance matrices.ResultsSpecies diversity of exotic and native plants were related to the degree of disturbance (cover of crop) and proximity to disturbance (distance to crop) with different responses according to dispersal mode and habitat type. In most of the habitats, the number of species dispersed by biotic vectors decreased when disturbance was higher. We further found that in woods and hedgerows the interaction between disturbance and dispersal mode drove the exotic richness. Exotic species were less dispersal limited than native showing a weaker distance-decay of similarity.ConclusionsThe spread of exotic species in semi-natural habitats was driven by agricultural disturbance at the landscape scale. The effect of disturbance on exotic species richness was further shaped by species dispersal mode. Most initiatives related to preventing and controlling invasions are conducted at the local scale, whereas the influence of the land-use dynamics in the landscape is seldom explored. Our contribution provides useful information to identify the most susceptible semi-natural-habitats to exotic plant invasions according to intrinsic local resistance and large-scale processes such as invasiveness from the surrounding landscape.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2017-11-07T21:02:34.282776-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12351
  • Livestock grazing affects vernal pool specialists more than habitat
           generalists in montane vernal pools
    • Authors: Kirsten M. Bovee; Kyle E. Merriam, Meredith C. Gosejohan
      Abstract: QuestionsDo livestock grazing and seasonal precipitation structure species composition in montane vernal pools' Which grazing and precipitation variables best predict cover of vernal pool specialists and species with broader habitat requirements' Is vernal pool species diversity correlated with livestock exclosure, and at what spatial scales'LocationMontane vernal pools, northeast California, USA.MethodsVegetation was sampled in 20 vernal pools, including pools where livestock had been excluded for up to 20 yr. We compared plant species composition, functional group composition and species diversity among sites that varied in grazing history and seasonal precipitation using CCA and LMM.ResultsAlthough vernal pool specialists were dominant in montane vernal pools, over a third of plant cover was comprised of species that occur over a broad range of wetland or upland environments. The species composition of vernal pool plant communities was influenced by both livestock grazing and precipitation patterns, however the relative effects of these environmental variables differed by functional group. Livestock exclosures favoured perennial vernal pool specialists over annual vernal pool specialists. In contrast, the cover of habitat generalists was more strongly influenced by seasonal precipitation than livestock grazing. At small spatial scales, species richness and diversity decreased as the number of years a pool had been fenced increased, but this relationship was not significant at a larger spatial scale.ConclusionsBoth livestock grazing and seasonal precipitation structure the montane vernal pool plant community. We found that livestock grazing promotes the cover of annual vernal pool specialists, but at the expense of perennial vernal pool specialists. Wetter vernal pools, however, support higher cover of wetland generalist species regardless of whether pools are grazed.Montane vernal pools in northeastern California retain snowpack longer than adjacent semi-arid habitat, resulting in a diverse flora of vernal pool specialists as well as habitat generalists. We found that while both livestock grazing and seasonal precipitation structured vernal pool plant communities, only specialists responded strongly to grazing pressure. Results have implications for rare species associated with many vernal pools.
      PubDate: 2017-11-04T13:21:36.393717-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12342
  • Reversing expansion of Calamagrostis epigejos in a grassland biodiversity
           hotspot: hemiparasitic Rhinanthus major does a better job than increased
           mowing intensity
    • Authors: Jakub Těšitel; Jan Mládek, Karel Fajmon, Petr Blažek, Ondřej Mudrák
      Abstract: QuestionsCan hemiparasitic Rhinanthus major originating from a local population suppress the competitive clonal grass Calamagrostis epigejos and reverse its expansion in species-rich semi-natural grasslands' Does sowing seeds of R. major facilitate restoration of target meadow vegetation' Is R. major more beneficial for biodiversity restoration/conservation than increased mowing intensity, a conventional measure to suppress C. epigejos'LocationČertoryje National Nature Reserve, Bílé Karpaty (White Carpathians) Protected Landscape Area, Czech Republic.MethodsWe conducted a before-after-control-impact (BACI) experiment in meadow patches heavily infested by C. epigejos: eight blocks, each containing four plots with four treatment combinations: (1) traditional management, i.e. mowing once in summer, (2) mowing in summer and autumn (3) mowing in summer and seed sowing of R. major, (4) mowing in summer and autumn and seed sowing of R. major. Above-ground biomass of C. epigejos and vegetation composition of each of the plots were monitored every year from 2013 to 2016. To assess the effects of treatments, we analysed biomass production of C. epigejos, herb layer cover and vegetation composition.ResultsBoth sowing R. major and an additional autumn meadow cut significantly suppressed C. epigejos. Their effects were additive and of comparable size. Both treatments also had significant but markedly different effects on community composition. R. major facilitated directional community composition change towards the regional Brachypodio-Molinetum meadows. In contrast, increased mowing intensity significantly decreased frequency of threatened species, which however may have also been influenced by R. major.ConclusionsSowing of autochthonous R. major seeds was demonstrated as an efficient tool to suppress C. epigejos and facilitate community restoration. It can be combined with an additional meadow cut to further accelerate decline of the grass. The additional cut should however be used as a short-term practice (1–2 yr) only to minimize potential negative effects of its long-term application on some threatened plant species. The effects of R. major are comparable to those of R. alectorolophus reported previously. As a species occurring naturally in species-rich dry grasslands, R. major has a broader and longer-term application potential than R. alectorolophus in ecological restoration and conservation of these communities.Calamagrostis epigejos is a competitive grass which expands to high-nature-value grasslands of Central Europe and threatens their biodiversity. In a field experiment, we demonstrated the potential of hemiparasitic Rhinanthus major to suppress its dominance. Rhinanthus also shifted community composition towards the regional species-rich grasslands. By contrast, increased mowing intensity, the conventional measure against C. epigejos, reduced frequency of threatened species.
      PubDate: 2017-11-04T13:20:57.37043-05:0
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12339
  • Plant recolonization of reclamation areas from patches of salvaged forest
           floor material
    • Authors: Caren E. Jones; Simon M. Landhäusser
      Abstract: QuestionUnderstory development is a great challenge in the restoration of many forest sites, particularly when sources of vegetation propagules are scarce. Can placement of propagule-rich soil patches within reclaimed landscapes otherwise covered with propagule-poor material promote the dispersal of vegetation from the patches into the surrounding areas'LocationA large reclamation site located in the Canadian (Alberta) boreal forest.MethodPatches of propagule-rich forest floor material were placed within a matrix of propagule-poor peat material. Vegetation assessments (cover estimates, seed rain) were done surrounding these patches in the third and fourth growing seasons.ResultsThere was significant egress of species from the patches into the peat after four growing seasons and overall species associated with the patches had higher cover in the peat than the species that were associated with the peat itself. While wind-dispersed herbaceous species from the patches were found at the leading edge of the egressing community, most species used vegetative propagation resulting in short egress distances. Several patch associated species were found in seed rain collected on the peat areas but were not observed in this material, suggesting seedbed limitations.ConclusionDespite the relatively short distance of egress, this experiment suggests that placement of propagule-rich soil material within reclaimed landscapes will promote egress into adjacent propagule-poor soil material.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2017-11-02T07:46:45.227809-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12350
  • Distance, environmental and substrate factors impacting recovery of
           bryophyte communities after harvesting
    • Authors: Thomas P. Baker; Gregory J. Jordan, Nicholas M. Fountain-Jones, Jayne Balmer, Patrick J. Dalton, Susan C. Baker
      Abstract: AimsBryophyte re-colonization after disturbance is largely governed by environmental conditions within disturbed forests. In particular, distance to a forest edge is an important predictor of bryophyte community re-colonization, through either direct constraints, such as dispersal limitation, or indirectly by altering environmental conditions. This study examines a range of factors – environmental, distance to an edge, substrate specific environment or local-level environment – to determine which are important in the re-colonization of bryophyte communities after forest harvesting. As bryophyte communities vary with the particular substrate inhabited, responses were examined across four substrates (rock, exposed roots, ground and CWD).LocationTasmanian southern forests, Australia.MethodsBryophyte composition was examined on four substrates (ground, coarse wood debris, exposed roots, rocks) within three ages (~7, ~27 and ~45 yr post-disturbance) of harvested wet eucalypt forest. Re-colonization success of bryophyte communities was determined by comparing communities in regeneration forest to mature forest communities using axis scores from one-dimensional constrained ordination. The importance of various environmental conditions for re-colonization success was then modelled. Finally, path analysis was used to determine whether the impact of distance to a forest edge was meditated through its effects on key environmental variables.ResultsMultiple environmental factors impacted re-colonization of mature bryophyte communities. Local-level conditions such as microclimate (temperature, humidity and VPD) and LAI were the most important in determining re-colonization across substrates. Path analysis showed that distance to a forest edge had a significant impact on re-colonization success, but only a relatively small part of this was mediated through its impact on environmental factors.ConclusionsBryophyte re-colonization is driven by a combination of microclimate conditions and factors related to distance from a forest edge (most likely dispersal distance). While some substrate-specific factors impact bryophyte re-colonization success, the consistent impact of local environmental factors across substrates suggests that harvesting management strategies that develop more ‘mature’ microclimate conditions and increase proximity to nearby mature forest patches will be beneficial for all bryophytes communities. As bryophyte re-colonization was correlated with temporally dynamic environmental conditions, we suggest that forest age needs to be considered in future work.Bryophyte recolonisation post-disturbance is governed by multiple environmental factors. We show that microclimate conditions and distance to a standing forest are two critical factors impacting bryophyte recolonisation. Additionally, both factors are influential across a range of substrates suggesting that management techniques which reduced dispersal distance and minimise microclimate extremes will help recolonisation across multiple bryophyte communities.
      PubDate: 2017-10-31T12:35:26.028726-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12343
  • Dangerous life at the edge: implications of seed predation for roadside
    • Authors: Alberto Suárez-Esteban; Miguel Delibes, José M. Fedriani
      Abstract: QuestionAnthropogenic edges caused by transport infrastructures such as dirt roads and trails (also known as Soft Linear Developments; SLD) are pervasive in almost every terrestrial ecosystem. Revegetating these edges may reduce some of their negative effects, such as their permeability to biological invasions, and detrimental effects on wildlife, potentially becoming suitable habitat for a broad range of species. Selecting species with low post-dispersal seed predation rates may improve the effectiveness of revegetation programs.LocationMediterranean scrublands in SW Spain.MethodsWe made offerings of a total of 16000 seeds of 8 species of fleshy-fruit shrubs both along SLD edges and scrubland interiors in two independent blocks in each of three distant locations. Using four types of selective enclosures, we assessed the relative contribution of three seed predator guilds (ants, rodents and birds) to seed predation rates both along SLD edges and scrubland interiors.ResultsThe effects of anthropogenic edges on seed predation rates were species-specific. The large and hard-seeded species Chamaerops humilis was not predated at all. Juniperus phoenicea and Corema album seeds showed higher predation rates in scrubland interiors than in edges. The small-seeded Rubus ulmifolius experienced relatively low seed predation rates compared to other species. Predation rates for this species were higher along SLD edges than in scrubland interiors. Ants were the main seed predators in the area, and showed marked preferences for Juniperus macrocarpa and C. album seeds at both SLD edges and scrubland interiors.ConclusionsOur results show the strong context-dependency of seed predation rates in both SLD edges and scrubland interiors, and thus the importance of well spatially and temporally replicated studies like this. Species with large and hard seeds may be good candidates for roadside revegetation programs. However, the relative suitability of plant species would depend on the seed predator community. Our findings confirm that studies on seed predation may help planning cost-effective species selection for edge revegetation efforts worldwide.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2017-10-27T19:40:23.713794-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12349
  • Influence of fire on critically endangered Swartland Shale Renosterveld in
           the Cape Floristic Region
    • Authors: S. R Cousins; E. T. F Witkowski, K. J Esler
      Abstract: QuestionsThe degree to which renosterveld shrublands are fire-dependent is currently unclear. To address this issue, the following questions were asked: Does smoke stimulate germination of soil-stored seeds in renosterveld' Does recently-burned renosterveld display changed composition and higher diversity than unburned vegetation' How do the species compositions of renosterveld soil seed banks and standing vegetation compare'.LocationSwartland, Cape Floristic Region, South Africa.MethodsSoil seed bank samples from a north- and south-facing slope were smoke-treated and germinated to test for smoke-stimulated germination. Burned standing vegetation was surveyed 16 months post-fire, as was unburned vegetation on the same slopes. Seed bank species richness and density were compared between smoke-treated and untreated samples within and between slopes. Burned and unburned standing vegetation were compared within and between slopes in terms of species richness, abundance and aerial cover. Compositional similarity of the seed banks and standing vegetation was assessed.ResultsSeed banks were dominated by annuals and graminoids. Smoke treatment had no effect, except for driving significantly higher species richness and seedling density in south-facing slope perennial shrubs. Species richness and seedling density were significantly higher in seed banks on the south-facing slope compared to the north-facing slope. Burned standing vegetation exhibited significantly higher diversity than unburned vegetation. Annuals and graminoids displayed significantly higher species richness and aerial cover in burned renosterveld. The north-facing slope contained less than half the number of species/m2 compared to the south-facing slope. The seed banks and standing vegetation showed low to intermediate similarity (Sørensen = 31-53%), but grouped close together on an NMDS plot suggesting intermediate similarity overall.ConclusionsElevated germination of perennial shrubs in smoke-treated seed bank samples and increased diversity of post-fire standing vegetation suggests the renosterveld in this study shows elements of a fire-driven system. Certain species only recruited in burned sites suggesting fire-stimulated germination. Aspect had a major influence on plant community composition with the mesic south-facing slope being more diverse than the xeric north-facing slope. The similarity between the seed banks and standing vegetation was higher than previously shown for renosterveld, and appears to be higher than for fynbos.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2017-10-25T02:30:25.308987-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12348
  • Ditches as species-rich secondary habitats and refuge for meadow species
           in agricultural marsh grasslands
    • Authors: Leonid Rasran; Kati Vogt
      Abstract: QuestionsCan drainage ditches in agricultural marsh grassland provide a suitable habitat for the persistence of fen meadow species' How does the ditch margin vegetation develop as a function of regular dredging' Is ornithologically oriented management also beneficial for plant biodiversity'LocationRiparian marshes, Eider-Treene-Sorge lowland, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.MethodsWe performed vegetation surveys of drainage ditches along with their water body, slope and margin structures annually for 3 yr. The data were analysed with respect to date and means of ditch dredging. In addition, we recorded vegetation of the surrounding agricultural grassland, measured nutrient status of the soil and the water body and sampled seed bank of the ditch slopes. We used ANOVA and multivariate methods to describe the development of the ditch vegetation and the persistence of target meadow species.ResultsVegetation re-development of ditch margins proceeds quite rapidly after disturbance from dredging. Dominance of mudbank species was observed only in the first year, followed by an increase of reed species and reduction of phytodiversity. Target species of wet meadow communities reach highest abundance in the second and third year and build a significant seed bank before being suppressed by reeds.ConclusionsIn heavily eutrophicated, intensively used marsh grassland, regularly disturbed ditch margins are important secondary habitats for pioneer and subdominant wetland species, which have nearly disappeared in a larger area. Current management cycles of ditch dredging every 3–4 yr comply with the successional development, allowing the mudbank and wet meadow species to persist in the vegetation and seed bank. In contrast to the frequency, the form of dredging (ditch profile), which is crucial for bird protection, plays a minor role for plants. We recommend moderate disturbance (mowing of ditch margins) to suppress strong competitors in the years between dredging for additional support to target plant species.We studied the role of ditches for floristic diversity in a heavily eutrophicated agricultural marsh landscape in Northern Germany. Their current management for hydrological and ornithological purposes appeared to be an important factor providing the necessary level of disturbance, suppressing strong competitors and allowing the persistence of pioneer and meadow species in the vegetation and seed bank.
      PubDate: 2017-10-19T14:30:26.138371-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12337
  • Recent changes in the plant composition of wetlands in the Jura Mountains
    • Authors: Vanessa Rion; Jean-Daniel Gallandat, Jean-Michel Gobat, Pascal Vittoz
      Abstract: AimTo assess vegetation changes in montane fens and wet meadows and their causes over 38 yr.LocationWetlands, Jura Mountains (Switzerland and France).MethodsPlots were inventoried in 1974 and re-located in 2012 (quasi-permanent plots) on the basis of sketches to assess changes in plant communities. The 110 plots belonged to five phytosociological alliances, two in oligotrophic fens (Caricion davallianae, Caricion fuscae) and three in wet meadows (Calthion, Molinion, Filipendulion). Changes between surveys were assessed with NMDS, and changes in species richness, Simpson diversity, species cover and frequency and the causes of these changes were evaluated by comparing ecological indicator values.ResultsChanges in species composition varied between alliances, with a general trend towards more nutrient-rich flora with less light at ground level. Species diversity declined, with a marked decreasing trend for the typical species of each alliance. These species were partly replaced by species belonging to nitrophilous and mesophilous grasslands. However, no trend towards drier conditions was detected in these wetlands. The largest changes, with an important colonization by nitrophilous species, occurred in the Swiss sites, where grazing was banned 25 yr ago. As a result of floral shifts, many plots previously belonging to fens or wet mesotrophic meadows shifted to an alliance of the wet meadows, generally Filipendulion. Moreover, communities showed a slight trend towards more thermophilous flora.ConclusionsThe investigated wetlands in the Jura Mountains have suffered mainly from eutrophication due to land-use abandonment and N deposition, with a loss of typical species. Areas with constant land use (grazing or mowing) showed less marked changes in species composition. The most important action to conserve these wetlands is to maintain or reintroduce the traditional practices of extensive mowing and livestock grazing in the wetlands, especially in areas where they were abandoned 25 yr ago. This previous land-use change was intended to improve fen conservation, but it was obviously the wrong measure for conservation purposes.Wetlands are among the most threatened ecosystems in Europe. Exhaustive plant inventories in three wetland sites in France and Switzerland and five phytosociological alliances were repeated after 38 yr to evaluate the importance and the causes of the changes. The wetlands are not drier than previously, but vegetation is now more eutrophic, probably because of land-use abandonment and nitrogen deposition.
      PubDate: 2017-10-18T12:05:40.897478-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12338
  • Are the assemblages of tree pollination modes being recovered by tropical
           forest restoration'
    • Authors: Paula María Montoya-Pfeiffer; Ricardo Ribeiro Rodrigues, Jean Paul Metzger, Claudia Inês Silva, Oswaldo Santos Baquero, Isabel Alves dos Santos
      Abstract: QuestionsDo the assemblages of pollination modes in restored (tree plantings) and secondary (naturally regenerated) forests change in comparison to primary forests, and how do these assemblages relate to species turnover at regional scale'LocationSoutheast region of Brazil.MethodsWe classified tree species found in a total of 40 forest sites (18 primary, 11 restored, 11 secondary) according to pollination mode, based on the literature. We calculated and compared functional dissimilarity distances, amounts of species and accumulated abundance of pollination modes, and functional indices of richness and evenness between forest types.ResultsFunctional dissimilarity distances were much smaller than species dissimilarity distances within forest types (mean 80%, respectively), indicating a small variation in pollination modes between sites. Functional indices of richness and evenness did not differ between forest types. However, significant changes were found in the species and abundance proportions of several pollination modes. Primary forests were characterized by the predominance of generalized insect-pollinated species, followed by secondary proportions of bee, wind and moth pollination; other pollination modes were underrepresented. In restored forests, reductions were found in generalized insect, moth, wind, fly, pollen-consuming insect and very-small insect pollination, whereas the species pollinated by bees and bats more than doubled. Smaller changes were found among secondary forests, including reductions in moth, fly and fig-wasp pollination, whereas there were incremental changes in bee, beetle, big animal and small insect pollination.ConclusionsOur results indicate a rather stable assemblage of pollination modes and also high ecological redundancy among trees regardless of the species replacement at the regional scale. Major changes among restored forests are probably in response to larger disturbance effects and/or restoration practices conducted in these sites. In contrast, smaller changes among secondary forests could be in response to smaller disturbance effects and natural selection processes, and also seem to suggest that highly resilient degraded areas are more likely to recuperate their functional diversity through natural regeneration alone. In both cases, however, efforts to recover such patterns should be encouraged to avoid possible negative effects in plant–pollinator interactions.The assemblages of tree pollination modes among restored (tree plantings) and secondary (naturally regenerated) forests were compared to the assemblages in primary forests. Major changes were found in the proportions of various pollination modes among restored forests probably in response to larger disturbance effects and/or restoration practices conducted in these sites. In contrast, smaller changes among secondary forests could be in response to smaller disturbance effects and natural selection processes, and also seem to suggest that highly resilient degraded areas are more likely to recuperate their functional diversity by natural regeneration alone.
      PubDate: 2017-10-18T12:05:23.378361-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12335
  • Introduced and native herbivores have different effects on plant
           composition in low productivity ecosystems
    • Authors: Samantha K. Travers; David J. Eldridge, Josh Dorrough, James Val, Ian Oliver
      Abstract: QuestionsUnderstanding how livestock grazing alters plant composition in low productivity environments is critical to managing livestock sustainably alongside native and introduced wild herbivore populations. We asked four questions: (1) does recent livestock and rabbit grazing reduce some plant attributes more strongly than others; (2) does grazing by introduced herbivores (i.e. livestock and rabbits) affect plants more strongly than native herbivores (i.e. kangaroos); (3) do the effects of recent livestock grazing differ from the legacy effects of livestock grazing; and (4) does the probability of occurrence of exotic plants increase with increasing net primary productivity (NPP)'LocationSouth-eastern Australia.MethodsWe measured the recent grazing activity of co-occurring livestock (cattle, sheep, goats), rabbits and kangaroos by counting faecal pellets; historic grazing activity by measuring livestock tracks; and derived NPP from satellite imagery. We used a hierarchical GLMM to simultaneously model the presence or absence (i.e. probability of occurrence) of all plant species as a function of their attributes (growth form, lifespan and origin) to assess their average response to recent grazing, historic grazing and productivity in a broad-scale regional study.ResultsRecent and historic livestock grazing, rabbit grazing and increasing NPP reduced the average probability of occurrence of plant species, although responses varied among plant attributes. Both recent and historic livestock grazing strongly reduced the average probability of occurrence of native species, and forbs and geophytes, but differed in their relative effects on other growth forms. Recent livestock grazing, rabbit grazing and NPP had similar effects, strongly reducing native species and forbs, geophytes, shrubs and sub-shrubs. The overall effects of recent kangaroo grazing were relatively weak, with no clear trends for any given plant attribute.ConclusionOur results highlight the complex nature of grazing by introduced herbivores compared with native herbivores on different plant attributes. Land managers need to be aware that domestic European livestock, rabbits and other free-ranging introduced livestock such as goats have detrimental impacts on native plant communities. Our results also show that kangaroo grazing has a relatively benign effect on plant occurrence.It is important to manage livestock sustainably alongside wild herbivores. We assessed the effects of productivity and grazing activity of livestock (cattle, sheep, goats), rabbits and kangaroos on the occurrence of plants as a function of their attributes (growth form, lifespan, origin). We found livestock and rabbits have detrimental impacts on native plant communities, but kangaroo grazing is relatively benign.
      PubDate: 2017-10-10T08:45:38.249423-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12334
  • Shrub facilitation drives tree establishment in a semiarid fog-dependent
    • Authors: Petr Macek; Christian Schöb, Mariela Núñez-Ávila, Iván R. Hernández Gentina, Francisco I. Pugnaire, Juan J. Armesto
      Abstract: QuestionsThe exceptional occurrence of tall rain forest patches on foggy coastal mountaintops, surrounded by extensive xerophytic shrublands, suggests an important role of plant–plant interactions in the origin and persistence of these patches in semi-arid Chile. We asked whether facilitation by shrubs can explain the growth and survival of rain forest tree species, and whether shrub effects depend on the identity of the shrub species itself, the drought tolerance of the tree species and the position of shrubs in regard to wind direction.LocationOpen area–shrubland–forest matrix, Fray Jorge Forest National Park, Chile.MethodsWe recorded survival after 12 yr of a ~3600 tree saplings plantation (originally ~30-cm tall individuals) of Aextoxicon punctatum, Myrceugenia correifolia and Drimys winteri placed outside forests, beneath the shrub Baccharis vernalis, and in open (shrub-free) areas. We assessed the effects of neighbouring shrubs and soil humidity on survival and growth along a gradient related to the direction of fog movement.ResultsB. vernalis had a clear facilitative effect on tree establishment and survival since, after ~12 yr, saplings only survived beneath the shrub canopy. Long-term survival strongly depended on tree species identity, drought tolerance and position along the soil moisture gradient, with higher survival of A. punctatum (>35%) and M. correifolia (>14%) at sites on wind- and fog-exposed shrubland areas. Sites occupied by the shrub Aristeguietia salvia were unsuitable for trees, presumably due to drier conditions than under B. vernalis.ConclusionsInteractions between shrubs and fog-dependent tree species in dry areas revealed a strong, long-lasting facilitation effect on planted tree's survival and growth. Shrubs acted as benefactors, providing sites suitable for tree growth. Sapling mortality in the shrubland interior was caused by lower soil moisture, the consequence of lower fog loads in the air and thus insufficient facilitation. While B. vernalis was a key ecosystem engineer (nurse) and intercepted fog water that dripped to trees planted underneath, drier sites with A. salvia were unsuitable for trees. Consequently, nurse effects related to water input are strongly site and species specific, with facilitation by shrubs providing a plausible explanation for the initiation of forest patches in this semi-arid landscape.Experimental plantation of three tree species below shrubs and in open areas in the Fray Jorge Forest National Park revealed species-specific and long-lasting positive effects of selected nurse shrubs on drought-tolerant tree species. This nurse effect waned towards the shrubland interior, probably due to increasingly drier air. Positive plant-plant interactions appear to be crucial for forest patch initiation in a fog-dependent ecosystem.
      PubDate: 2017-10-01T22:00:27.808046-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12301
  • Seeding alters plant community trajectory: Impacts of seeding, grazing,
           and trampling on semi-arid revegetation
    • Authors: Hannah L. Farrell; Jeffrey S. Fehmi
      Abstract: QuestionsHow do seeding, cattle grazing, and vehicular use impact vegetation establishment and soil movement on a newly reclaimed pipeline right-of-way' Will these factors result in differing plant community trajectories'LocationSouthern Arizona (USA).MethodsWithin a pipeline disturbance, we randomly selected nine plots to be seeded with an 18 species mix and nine to be left unseeded. Adjacent to the disturbance, we selected nine undisturbed unseeded control plots for a total of 27 plots (30 × 45 m each). Within each of the 27 plots, we established a grazed-trampled, grazed-untrampled, and ungrazed-untrampled sub-plot. One year after pipeline reclamation, we analyzed the impacts of seeding, grazing, and trampling on native plant cover, undesirable plant cover, herbaceous biomass, species richness, soil movement, and plant community trajectories in comparison to surrounding undisturbed sites.ResultsSeeding disturbed sites with a diverse seed mix resulted in greater native plant cover, greater species richness, and fewer undesirable species than were found in unseeded disturbed sites. Unseeded disturbed areas were similar to the undisturbed control areas in species richness and had comparable plant community trajectories. The combined impacts of grazing and trampling reduced native plant cover and herbaceous biomass and were associated with greater soil erosion in comparison to sub-plots protected from grazing and trampling.ConclusionsNatural vegetation recruitment can be a viable option in semi-arid reclamation projects when the soil seed bank is preserved and there are proximal seed sources. While seeding improved quantitative vegetation metrics, using a seed mix comprised of different species than the preexisting vegetation may set the reclaimed vegetation on a different plant community trajectory. The general prescription of protecting new reclamation sites from grazing and trampling is supported.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
      PubDate: 2017-09-21T02:00:29.625601-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12340
  • Livestock exclusion alters plant species composition in fen meadows
    • Authors: Kyle E. Merriam; Scott H. Markwith, Michelle Coppoletta
      Abstract: QuestionsOur study evaluated how species composition and plant traits that indicate functioning condition in fens responded to grazing cessation over time in an arid ecosystem of the western US. The specific questions addressed were: (1) how does livestock exclusion influence species composition in fens; (2) is grazing cessation associated with shifts in species functional traits that indicate fen condition; and (3) what is the pattern of response to livestock exclusion over time'LocationPlumas National Forest, CA, US.MethodsWe studied paired fenced and unfenced study sites in two fens to examine the effects of livestock exclusion. Parallel transects were established at each site, and plant species and ground cover were repeatedly surveyed, once prior to and multiple times following treatment, using 0.01 m2 frequency frames. We used NMDS to analyse species composition, RLQ and fourth-corner analysis to evaluate species functional traits and environmental variables, and linear mixed effects models to examine differences in responses between fenced and unfenced study sites over time.ResultsAfter fencing, we observed unexpected shifts in species composition and plant functional traits. Grazed sites were associated with peat-forming obligate wetland, moss and sedge species, while fenced sites were characterized by non-peat-forming facultative upland, and upland forb, grass and early seral species. Species composition also varied between sites and sample years.ConclusionsWe found that livestock exclusion strongly affects plant species composition in fens, including promoting species with functional traits that indicate a loss of functioning condition, such as ruderal and upland species. Possible explanations for these observed shifts include: (1) biomass accumulation in the absence of herbivory, (2) competitive exclusion in fenced sites, (3) succession, (4) the abiotic conditions of our study sites, particularly hydrology and nutrient status, and (5) interactions among these factors. We conclude that degradation of fen wetlands caused by livestock grazing in the arid western US may not be reversed by excluding livestock alone.Livestock exclusion in fen wetland ecosystems can cause unexpected shifts in plant species composition. We documented increases in ruderal and upland species after fencing, likely resulting from biomass accumulation in the absence of herbivory, or changes in fen hydrology and nutrient status. These results suggest that degradation of fens caused by livestock may not be reversed by fencing alone.
      PubDate: 2017-09-19T19:25:31.517702-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12333
  • Roadsides: an opportunity for biodiversity conservation
    • Authors: Juan M. Arenas; Adrián Escudero, Ignacio Mola, Miguel A. Casado
      Pages: 527 - 537
      Abstract: QuestionsHow do roadsides interact with patches of natural vegetation in shaping perennial plant communities in fragmented agricultural areas' Are the observed differences due to the type of roadside (i.e. roadcuts, embankments or road verges) or are there other factors driving community structure and composition'LocationStretch of motorway A3 and its surrounding area, central Spain.MethodsWe analysed the variation in perennial plant species composition and diversity among 92 plots (400 m2). The plots were located in five different environmental scenarios, three of them in a fragmented landscape (patches of natural vegetation, embankments and roadcuts) and two in an unfragmented landscape (natural vegetation and road verges). In each plot, the cover of each perennial plant species and eight soil variables were assessed. We used phi coefficient of correlation to determine the scenario preferences of each species, Kruskal–Wallis tests to compare the soil variables between landscape scenarios and eight descriptive variables of the community, and RDA and partial RDA to evaluate the relative importance of the type of environmental scenario on the floristic community.ResultsWe identified 130 species, with only 16 species never appearing on roadsides. Perennial total cover, species richness, inverse Simpson's index and number of protected species showed no significant differences between the five scenarios considered. In contrast, the number of nutrient-demanding species and restricted-range diversity had lower values in natural vegetation plots. Soil variables and the type of scenario together explained 28.5% of the species composition variation. Of this percentage, 6.8% was explained by soil variables, 12.1% by the type of scenario and 10.0% of the variation was shared between the two data sets.ConclusionsOur results show that almost all perennial species occurring in natural vegetation patches were also able to reach and settle in roadsides. However, soil conditions and other specific roadside variables generate different plant communities. In spite of the differences found between the perennial plant community of roadsides and their surrounding area, roadsides are excellent reservoirs of biodiversity.In a gypsum territory, we analysed the communities of perennial plants on roadsides of a Spanish highway, comparing them with those of their surrounding areas at a landscape scale. Almost all perennial species were able to reach and settle in roadsides. However, soil conditions and other specific roadside variables generated different plant communities. Nevertheless, roadsides are excellent reservoirs of biodiversity.
      PubDate: 2017-08-30T13:30:37.245589-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12328
  • Urban or rural areas: which types of surrounding land use induce stronger
           edge effects on the functional traits of tropical forests plants'
    • Authors: Tassiane N.F. Guerra; Elcida L. Araújo, Everardo V.S.B. Sampaio, Elba M.N. Ferraz
      Pages: 538 - 548
      Abstract: QuestionsWhich types of land use adjacent to Atlantic Tropical Forests induce the strongest edge effects in terms of the functional responses of arboreal and understorey plants' Which functional traits respond to stress imposed by each land-use type in the two forest layers'LocationFull-protection conservation areas in the metropolitan region of Recife, Pernambuco State, Brazil.MethodsWe calculated the proportions of species and individuals of woody plants in terms of their functional traits (seed size, maximum height, dispersal syndrome and regeneration strategy) along the edge and in the interior of tropical Atlantic Forest remnants exposed to different degrees of adjacent urbanization along their borders (urban, suburban and rural) by establishing 120 sampling points (60 plots considering the arboreal components and 60 subplots considering woody understorey plants).The degree of urbanization adjacent to the edges of the remnant forests were determined by mapping the sites based on satellite images. The intensities of the edge effects on functional composition, and the differences in the functional traits were assessed using multivariate analysis.ResultsFunctional composition along the edges and within the forest interiors of remnants with the highest densities of urban areas around them demonstrated the greatest variability of both the arboreal and understorey components. The arboreal component of the forest sites adjacent to rural areas (intense agricultural activities) tended to demonstrate intermediate intensity edge effects. Species showing shade intolerance, with smaller maximum heights, producing small seeds and with abiotic dispersion were present in high proportions in forests bordering heavily urbanized areas. Biotic dispersal predominated in the arboreal component of the rural remnant.ConclusionsFrom a functional point of view, the forest with the most highly urbanized border is more impacted by edge effects than forests bordering on suburban or rural areas. Nonetheless, in an urban–rural gradient, intense agricultural activity was observed to create intermediate pressure in terms of the intensities of its edge effects. These edge effects differentially impact the functional traits of the arboreal and understorey components, influencing different traits, depending on the type of border.The Atlantic Tropical Forests is highly fragmented and is one of the most threatened forests on the planet. The remnants of this forest are surrounded by a mix of land uses ranging from urban to rural zones. We evaluate which types of land-use adjacent to Atlantic Tropical Forests induce the strongest edge effects in terms of the functional responses.
      PubDate: 2017-05-30T01:35:32.837084-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12315
  • Water depletion drives plant succession in farm ponds and overrides a
           legacy of continuous anthropogenic disturbance
    • Authors: Fumiya Toyama; Munemitsu Akasaka
      Pages: 549 - 557
      Abstract: QuestionsAbandonment of anthropogenic ecosystems threatens biodiversity in rural areas globally. Successional responses in anthropogenic ecosystems have been shown to differ from those in natural ecosystems because of the legacy of continuous management activities. However, few studies have focused on successional changes in anthropogenic freshwater ecosystems following abandonment. Focusing on two drivers (water depletion and cessation of anthropogenic disturbance), we tested whether water depletion plays a larger role than years since abandonment in determining the both plant functional diversity and composition in farm ponds.LocationAwaji Island, western Japan.MethodsWe investigated flora at 200 farm ponds, which had experienced long-term continuous anthropogenic disturbance. We interviewed 100 managers of the surveyed ponds and local farmers to identify the ponds’ management status. To capture community processes during succession, we focused on functional richness and functional trait composition. We assessed the relative contribution of the two successional drivers in determining functional richness by adopting a linear model. We classified the survey ponds into five groups based on the two successional drivers and performed PERMANOVA to test differences in functional composition among the groups.ResultsWater depletion played a larger role than elapsed time since cessation of anthropogenic disturbance in determining functional richness. Functional composition of water-depleted ponds significantly differed from that of managed ponds, regardless of years since abandonment.ConclusionsOur results indicate that water depletion has a larger effect on successional changes in ponds than cessation of anthropogenic disturbance; that is, water depletion drives succession and overrides the legacy of continuous anthropogenic disturbance. The results suggest that, in freshwater ecosystems, the functional change in a community is greater in the transition from macrophytes to terrestrial plants than it is in the transition from stress-tolerant species to competitive species.Water depletion played a greater role than cessation of anthropogenic disturbance in determining the both plant functional diversity and composition in abandoned farm ponds. The results suggest, in freshwater ecosystems, transition from macrophytes to terrestrial plants is more responsible for functional change in a community than the transition from stress-tolerant species to competitive species.
      PubDate: 2017-08-20T13:10:23.451382-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12331
  • Changes in floristic composition and physiognomy are decoupled along
           elevation gradients in central Argentina
    • Authors: Melisa A. Giorgis; Ana M. Cingolani, Diego E. Gurvich, Paula A. Tecco, Jorge Chiapella, Franco Chiarini, Marcelo Cabido
      Pages: 558 - 571
      Abstract: QuestionsMost vegetation descriptions tacitly assume that floristic composition and physiognomy are tightly linked. However, the two vegetation properties may not respond in a similar way to environmental and disturbance gradients, leading to uninformed management planning and difficulties when attempting to restore degraded ecosystems. In this context, we addressed two main questions: (1) how close are relations between floristic and physiognomic types as defined by numerical vegetation classification in mountain ecosystems; and (2) how are floristic and physiognomic types distributed along the elevation gradient'LocationCentral mountains of Argentina, between 500 and 1700 m a.s.l.MethodsWe selected 437 sites where we performed complete floristic and physiognomic relevés. We classified eight physiognomic and eight floristic types. We tested the relationship between the two classifications through a chi square analysis. We tested the association between elevation and each physiognomic and floristic type with random permutations.ResultsIn general, floristic types were significantly and positively associated with more than one physiognomic type and vice versa. Physiognomic and floristic types responded differently to the elevation gradient. Floristic types were restricted to different sections of the gradient, although having large overlap among them. In contrast, seven out of the eight physiognomic types did not show elevation restriction, being distributed along the complete elevation gradient. The open low woodland with shrubs was the only restricted physiognomy, significantly absent from the upper part of the gradient.ConclusionsWe highlight the importance of considering the two vegetation properties independently when characterizing vegetation patterns in heterogeneous systems, since they show decoupled responses to environmental gradients. We note that the assumption of a direct link between floristic composition and physiognomy may induce bias into the understanding of vegetation patterns and processes. Hence, we encourage managers and restoration practitioners to consider the complete range of possible physiognomic types under each floristic type.Most vegetation descriptions tacitly assume that floristic composition and physiognomy are tightly linked. We found that floristic types were significantly and positively associated with more than one physiognomic type and vice versa. Additionally, both types responded differently to the elevation gradient. We encourage managers and restoration practitioners to consider the complete range of possible physiognomic types under each floristic type.
      PubDate: 2017-07-20T22:30:35.044403-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12324
  • Quantifying edge influence on plant community structure and composition in
           semi-natural dry grasslands
    • Authors: Rocco Labadessa; Audrey Alignier, Stefania Cassano, Luigi Forte, Paola Mairota
      Pages: 572 - 581
      Abstract: AimsWe investigated the influence of anthropogenic boundaries on semi-natural grassland plant communities in terms of: (1) depth and magnitude of edge influence and (2) changes in plant community composition associated with boundary attributes.LocationAlta Murgia, Puglia, southeast Italy.MethodsSampling sites were selected taking into account three boundary attributes thought to be most important in the study area, i.e. adjacent land use, presence/absence of stone wall at the patch boundary and occurrence of slope. Plant communities were surveyed along 40-m transects perpendicular to the patch boundary. Each transect was divided in six plots at given distances from patch boundary. Data were collected related to a set of plant community descriptors referring to structure, composition, life history traits and ecological attributes. A novel methodology that relies on the definition of inner plots as relative interior habitat was introduced for assessment of the depth and magnitude of edge influence. DCA was then used to characterize edge communities.ResultsSignificant edge influence on grassland plant communities was limited to the adjacent boundary (
      PubDate: 2017-08-20T13:10:34.879854-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12332
  • Trajectories of floristic change in grassland: landscape, land use legacy
           and seasonal conditions overshadow restoration actions
    • Authors: S. McIntyre; A. O. Nicholls, A. D. Manning
      Pages: 582 - 593
      Abstract: QuestionsHow does ground-layer plant composition respond to the imposition of woodland habitat restoration treatments following the removal of long-term pastoral management' Do different vegetation types have different trajectories of change'LocationA long-term ecological research site comprising temperate eucalypt grassy woodland and forest in south-eastern Australia, converted from pastoral use to conservation management. This has involved the implementation of habitat restoration treatments in addition to the cessation of livestock grazing and fertilizer inputs.MethodsWe surveyed ground-layer floristic composition over a 4-yr interval, in 96 1-ha sites that had been subjected to combinations of restoration treatments aimed at improving the condition of the woodland habitat for fauna: (1) Reduced kangaroo grazing intensity; (2) Addition of coarse woody debris; and (3) Burning. We used nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) to plot the sites, and to analyse the average trajectories of floristic change for each of six initially identified vegetation types, and the restoration treatments. We partitioned Bray–Curtis dissimilarity measures to rank individual species’ contributions to floristic change in each vegetation type between 2007 and 2011.ResultsThe identities of the six vegetation types identified at time zero was strongly retained over the 4-yr observation period. There was generally a uniform change across the vegetation types, which was the result of increases in biomass of the characteristic dominant perennial grasses, and increases in some native forbs. The two vegetation types with evidence of past fertilization showed some convergence with native vegetation types due to the decrease in some exotic species. The restoration treatments had no significant influence on species composition.ConclusionsThe native herbaceous vegetation in the woodland was largely resistant to compositional change, although seasonal conditions increased the biomass of the perennial grasses defining the different vegetation types. However, sites with an evident history of past fertilization and notable amounts of exotic pasture species changed slightly but significantly, with some pasture species declining and floristic convergence with native vegetation over 4 yr. These rates of change need to be considered in the application of vegetation offsetting policy.We demonstrate the greater importance of environmental variation and past fertilization on the composition of grassland compared to the effects of restoration actions over four years. Control of native herbivore grazing, fire and additions of logs had little effect on overall composition. Previously fertilized grassland showed some convergence with native vegetation due to the decrease in some exotic species.
      PubDate: 2017-07-28T16:20:38.041909-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12321
  • Quantifying establishment limitations during the ecological restoration of
           species-rich Nardus grassland
    • Authors: Frederik Van Daele; Safaa Wasof, Andreas Demey, Stephanie Schelfhout, An De Schrijver, Lander Baeten, Jasper Ruijven, Jan Mertens, Kris Verheyen
      Pages: 594 - 607
      Abstract: AimsSuccessful establishment of species-rich Nardus grasslands on ex-agricultural land requires identification and removal of barriers to effective seed germination and seedling survival. Therefore, we investigate how germination and early development are affected by soil conditions from different restoration phases and how this relates to their specific plant strategies.LocationGrasslands and experiments in northern Belgium.MethodsWe selected three grassland restoration phases (Lolium perenne grasslands, grass–herb mix grasslands and species-rich Nardus grasslands), which were characterized by a distinct plant community and soils with contrasting abiotic and biotic properties (respectively, eutrophic, mesotrophic and oligotrophic soils). In a first germination experiment we investigated the species-specific responses (germination, lag time and emergence rate) of 70 grassland species (that typically occur along the restoration gradient) in each of the selected soils. Second, a mesocosm experiment was set-up in which a mixture of 19 species (representative of the distinct grassland restoration phases) was grown together in the respective soils. Here, we analysed the intraspecific variation of plant growth, SLA and identified changes in community assembly.ResultsIrrespective of soil influences, Nardus grassland species had significantly lower germination potentials and longer germination lag times than L. perenne grassland species. Germination (and its lag time) of grass–herb mix grassland species were negatively affected by the oligotrophic soils. Soil factors determined early growth patterns during the emergence and establishment phase. L. perenne grassland species exhibited a more plastic growth response and were highly dependent on soil type. Nardus grassland species exhibited large intraspecific variation in SLA, which was found to be significantly lower in the oligotrophic soils. Even though the difference in bio-available P between mesotrophic and oligotrophic soils was minor, Nardus grassland species were only able to compete in the oligotrophic soils (no significant difference in biomass between communities). Mesotrophic mesocosms exhibited the highest species richness after 200 d of growth.ConclusionPlant species from the three grassland restoration phases display distinct germination strategies, irrespective of soil type. Interactions between growth strategies and soil factors determine competitive asymmetry and therefore shape community assembly in the distinct grassland phases.We investigated how soils from different restoration phases influence the distinct life phases and how this relates to their specific plant strategies. Plant species from three grassland restoration phases displayed distinct germination strategies, irrespective of the soil type. Interactions between growth strategies and soil factors determine competitive asymmetry and therefore shape community assembly in the distinct grassland phases.
      PubDate: 2017-08-30T13:31:19.679288-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12330
  • Glyphosate, steam and cutting for non-native plant control in Alberta
           fescue grassland restoration
    • Authors: Holly J. Stover; M. Anne Naeth, Sarah R. Wilkinson
      Pages: 608 - 619
      Abstract: QuestionWhat are the effects of cutting, glyphosate application and steam application on abundance and diversity of non-native grasses and forbs and non-target native grasses and forbs in restoration of a complex disturbed fescue grassland'LocationWaterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada.MethodsCutting, glyphosate application and steam application treatments were implemented at three disturbed sites in an incomplete block design with a control. Plant communities were evaluated for four growing seasons, one before and three after management treatment implementation.ResultsGlyphosate reduced non-native grass cover for three growing seasons following application and non-native forbs for one growing season. Glyphosate led to significant increases in non-native forb cover, more than double pre-existing values 2 and 3 yr after application. Native species abundance and diversity were more negatively impacted by glyphosate on sites with higher abundance and diversity prior to management treatments. Low frequency cutting over 2 yr did not consistently control non-native species, steam reduced non-native grass cover at the most heavily invaded site.ConclusionsSite-specific conditions must be considered to develop effective control methods for non-native species. No treatment effectively re-established native grassland communities. Glyphosate application reduced non-native grasses, but not non-native forbs. When native forbs were abundant prior to management, glyphosate reduced them. Steam may have potential and should be further investigated. This is one of only a few studies to investigate methods to manage multiple non-native species occurring with native species, rather than management of a single undesirable species, and is the first to assess steam as a management option for native grasslands.This is the first study testing steam as a chemical free control method for non-native plant species in native grassland restoration. Glyphosate, steam and cutting were applied annually over 2 yr and vegetation monitored for 3 yr. Steam showed promise but further research is required to improve efficacy. Site specific conditions influenced the outcome of control methods on plant communities.
      PubDate: 2017-06-14T07:25:23.907682-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12316
  • Glyphosate redirects wetland vegetation trajectory following willow
    • Authors: Olivia R. Burge; Kerry A. Bodmin, Beverley R. Clarkson, Scott Bartlam, Corinne H. Watts, Chris C. Tanner
      Pages: 620 - 630
      Abstract: AimsAerially applied glyphosate is an economic tool to deal with large areas of invasive plants. However, there are few studies investigating non-target effects or rates of reinvasion, particularly over multi-year time frames. The aims were to evaluate the effectiveness of aerial application of glyphosate for control of dense stands of the invasive grey willow Salix cinerea, and determine the vegetation trajectory over the subsequent 2 yr.LocationWhangamarino Wetland, Waikato, New Zealand.MethodsA before–after control–impact (BACI) experiment was conducted in a Ramsar-listed wetland in New Zealand. Effects on S. cinerea cover, canopy light interception and non-target damage were monitored over a 7.1 ha experimental area prior to, and for 2 yr following, aerial application of glyphosate. Vegetation classification, ordination and species richness analyses were undertaken to describe community-level effects.ResultsAerial application of glyphosate to an established willow canopy was effective in reducing cover to
      PubDate: 2017-08-17T13:56:01.238935-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12320
  • Restoration of peatland by spontaneous revegetation after road
    • Authors: Marte Dalen Johansen; Pernille Aker, Kari Klanderud, Siri Lie Olsen, Astrid Brekke Skrindo
      Pages: 631 - 640
      Abstract: QuestionsSpontaneous revegetation from indigenous soil was used as a restoration method for peatlands degraded during road construction in northern Norway. We examined how plant community properties responded to the restoration, and which environmental factors affected the restoration success.LocationRestored peatlands along roadsides at E10, mainland connection to the Lofoten islands, northern Norway.MethodsThe restored area originally consisted of poor to intermediate Sphagnum-dominated natural peatlands. Restoration consisted of stripping and stockpiling the topmost (30 cm) peat. The peat was stored for 1–2 yr before redistribution, with no further hydrological management. We conducted first time analyses of plant community properties 8 and 9 yr after restoration. We recorded vegetation and environmental variables in 108 plots distributed between 18 transects running from the road edge over the restored area to the undisturbed peatland. Undisturbed peatland was used as target for successful restoration. We used CCA and ANOVA to test the effect of restoration on species composition and richness.ResultsThe ordination showed that species composition still differed significantly between restored and undisturbed plots, indicating incomplete restoration after 8 and 9 yr. Soil moisture, pH, slope and microtopography were the most important environmental factors for species composition. Polytrichum mosses had a high percentage cover in restored (30%) compared to undisturbed control plots (1%). Linear regression showed that peatland species decreased in abundance with increasing depth of Polytrichum cushions.ConclusionThe low soil moisture level in the restored areas is most likely limiting the establishment of Sphagnum mosses, considered as key species of the typical peatland environment. Thus, the restoration method studied here must be improved to increase the soil moisture by raising the water table or reducing drainage. This should be done through reducing storage time of the peat before redistribution, and minimizing slopes and heterogeneity of the microtopography of the restored area.Spontaneous re-vegetation from local soil was used to restore peatland after road construction in northern Norway. Species composition differed between restored and undisturbed peatland, indicating incomplete restoration after 8 and 9 years. Soil moisture should be improved to facilitate recovery of Sphagnum and other peatland species, by reducing storage time of the peat before redistribution, and by avoiding heterogeneous microtopography
      PubDate: 2017-09-30T08:33:12.987817-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12329
  • Restoration of inland brackish vegetation by large-scale transfer of
           coastal driftline material
    • Authors: Mineke Wolters; Saskia Vries, Wim A. Ozinga, Jan P. Bakker
      Pages: 641 - 650
      Abstract: QuestionDoes large-scale transfer of coastal driftline material enhance the establishment of inland brackish vegetation'LocationThe Klutenplas of 11 ha, a formerly reclaimed agricultural field, north coast of the Netherlands.MethodsA large quantity of coastal driftline material of local origin was transferred to the restoration site in 2006 after top soil removal in 2005 leaving bare areas for control plots. A priori species composition of the driftline was analysed in a greenhouse germination study. Target species were assigned to saline and brackish ecological species groups and present and historic regional occurrences. Our procedure for selecting target species resulted in a list of 98 species characteristic of terrestrial salt and brackish ecological species groups. The establishment of plant species in the field was recorded annually from 2006 to 2009, with a final survey in 2012. A comparison between locations with and without driftline was made. The entire study site was grazed with sheep.ResultsDriftline material contained 39 species, including 26 target species. During the first 4 yr, the mean number of target species in the established vegetation of driftline plots was significantly higher than in control plots. When corrected for spontaneous occurrence by natural colonization in control plots, 44% of the target species in the established vegetation of driftline plots during the first 4 yr could be attributed to the transferred material. After 7 yr driftline and control plots converged to similar levels, probably as a result of dispersal by wind and animals.ConclusionsTransfer of coastal driftline material enhanced the rate of establishment of inland brackish vegetation for at least the first 4 yr.Restoration of inland brackish vegetation by large-scale transfer of coastal driftline material. Transfer of coastal driftline material from the adjacent salt marsh into inland sites enhanced the rate of establishment of brackish plant coomunities for at least the first 4 yr. Later the plots converged to similar levels, probably as a result of dispersal by wind and animals.
      PubDate: 2017-08-20T13:11:04.072344-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12323
  • A new application of change point analysis reveals extensive edge effects
           on a temperate mixed forest
    • Authors: Kristin K. Michels; Sara C. Hotchkiss, Erin Jonaitis, Andrew L. Thurman
      Pages: 651 - 661
      Abstract: QuestionsHow do landscape changes along edges of protected areas affect forest interiors and stand development' What are the locations, spatial extents and magnitudes of these effects'LocationThe 8500-ha Sylvania Wilderness Area, Michigan's Upper Peninsula, USA.MethodsWe conducted vegetation surveys in 202 plots in ten transects crossing the Sylvania Wilderness border in 2013 and 2014. We recorded characteristics of forest structure, trees, shrubs, saplings, seedlings and herbaceous species. We constructed GLMM to estimate the location, spatial extent and magnitude of change of edge effects on Sylvania with a range of possible edge effect locations and widths of effect. We selected best-fit models that minimized the AIC and applied likelihood ratio tests to assess the statistical significance of each edge effect.ResultsOverall, evidence of edge effects occurred up to 625 m into the Sylvania Wilderness, with most significant changes occurring within 400 m of the wilderness border. Wide zones of change occurred across the wilderness border, while zones of change farther from the edge tended to be narrower, suggesting that distinct environments are established beyond the transitional habitats surrounding the border region. Canopy-level and understorey-level variables exhibited the largest magnitudes and steepest gradients of change, indicating these communities are strongly influenced by edge effects in this forest system. Canopy-level heterogeneity also increased approaching the internal core area of Sylvania.ConclusionsIn this case study, we applied a linear change point model and found a minimum buffer zone of 400 m to mitigate edge effects in an old-growth temperate mixed forest. Regionally, land managers could implement this buffer to existing edges of protected areas or negotiate this buffer zone in land acquisitions. A more stringent buffer zone of 625 m internal and 250 m external to old-growth forests would be ideal. This application of change point analysis provides a simple, efficient method to establish effective buffer zones and to identify functional groups or ecosystem attributes for which edge effects are of greatest conservation concern. We recommend modifying our open-source change point package to estimate local edge effects that take into account regional characteristics.We investigated the effect of adjacent land use on the Sylvania Wilderness Area, Michigan by conducting vegetation surveys on ten transects that crossed the Sylvania border. Using generalized linear mixed models and a new approach to change point analysis (, we found edge effects extending as far as 625 m into Sylvania.
      PubDate: 2017-08-17T13:55:42.816227-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12325
  • Conservation value of disturbed and secondary forests for ferns and
           lycophytes along an elevational gradient in Mexico
    • Authors: César I. Carvajal-Hernández; Thorsten Krömer, Juan Carlos López-Acosta, Jorge A. Gómez-Díaz, Michael Kessler
      Pages: 662 - 672
      Abstract: QuestionsHow do species richness and composition of fern assemblages change with elevation and, within elevational belts, in differently impacted forest habitats' Is there a relationship between fern assemblages and microclimate, both along gradients of elevation and disturbance' Which species are most sensitive to habitat disturbance and microclimatic changes'LocationFrom sea level close to the Gulf of Mexico 81 km away in a direct line on the eastern slopes of the Cofre de Perote at 3500 m, central Veracruz, Mexico.MethodsWe studied the richness and composition of fern assemblages in 120 study plots at eight elevations from 20–3500 m in three forest types: natural forest (NF), disturbed forest (DF) subjected to timber extraction and grazing, and secondary forest (SF) regrown after total clearance 15–20 yr ago. In addition, we measured microclimatic conditions in the three forest types at five elevations over a year.ResultsFern richness peaked in humid montane forests at mid-elevations and was low in the drier habitats at the ends of the gradient. Humid montane forests were most sensitive to disturbance, showing increases in mean annual temperatures by about 1 °C and reduction in relative air humidity by about 20% in DF and SF compared to NF. This was together with a reduction in fern species richness of 5–60% and marked changes in species composition. In contrast, drought-deciduous forests at low elevations and coniferous forests at high elevations already had low humidity and high light intensity in NF and were less affected by human impact: their microclimatic conditions and fern assemblages did not change markedly in DF and SF.ConclusionsThe conservation of much of the humidity-dependent biota (ferns and presumably also groups such as bryophytes and amphibians) in humid montane forests depends on the protection of natural fragments without human disturbance. In contrast, the naturally open forests at the ends of the gradient can be subjected to some exploitation while conserving much of their fern flora as long as a general forest structure is maintained.Our study shows that the fern assemblages of different forest types are susceptible to human disturbances to varying degrees. Humid montane forests (middle elevation) in the study region appear to be strongly affected because of their naturally high humidity and low light availability, so that transformation of the forest structure leads to major microclimatic changes that strongly affect the fern flora.
      PubDate: 2017-07-20T21:45:50.688888-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12318
  • Thinning affects understorey tree community assembly in monoculture
           plantations by facilitating stochastic immigration from the landscape
    • Authors: Ryo Kitagawa; Mitsuru Ueno, Takashi Masaki
      Pages: 673 - 682
      Abstract: AimTo maintain biodiversity in plantation forest ecosystems it is important to understand the community assembly process. Canopy thinning effectively increases understorey diversity in plantation forests. However, the process of understorey community assembly after canopy thinning remains unclear. We compared the relative importance of two mechanisms that could affect the assembly of understorey woody communities after thinning: (1) environmental filtering due to competition from canopy trees, and (2) stochastic immigration. If the latter is dominant, the effectiveness of local treatment might be unpredictable because of the variable probability of immigration at each location.LocationYamagata Prefecture, Japan.MethodsWe censused the understorey tree communities in 18 quadrats (each 1 m × 1 m) in each of 49 stands of Japanese cedar plantations. The mean species richness of the 18 quadrats (alpha-diversity), variation in community composition among them (beta-diversity), deviation of beta-diversity from that of a random community (beta-deviation) and total species richness of the plots (gamma-diversity) were compared among censuses (before thinning, 2 and 5 yr after thinning). The relative contributions of two explanatory variables to the various diversities were examined: (1) basal area of canopy trees (overstorey BA, an index of environmental filtering), and (2) available seed source in the surrounding landscape (landscape effect; an index of the probability of immigration).ResultsAlthough neither beta-diversity nor gamma-diversity changed throughout the censuses, the alpha-diversity, stem abundance and beta-deviation were affected by thinning. beta-deviation increased after thinning. Overstorey BA limited alpha- and gamma-diversity throughout the censuses. The landscape effect was more significant in terms of beta-deviation after than before thinning. In addition, the effective scale of the landscape effect increased after thinning.ConclusionOur results indicate that both processes are important: thinning brought about an increase in the relative importance of stochastic immigration as well as a reduction in competitive pressure from canopy trees. These results suggest that while local treatment can increase understorey diversity, stochastic immigration from seed sources is the direct driver after thinning. Although local treatment is effective, its efficiency depends on the seed source availability in the surrounding landscape.How can we increase biodiversity in species-poor plantation forests' Analyses on community assembly mechanisms can provide a critical step towards answering this question. In this paper, we described the processes through which understory trees of multiple species assemble to Japanese cedar plantations from surrounding landscapes. We discussed possible management schemes based on the theory of community ecology.
      PubDate: 2017-08-17T13:55:31.594855-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12327
  • Winter supplementary feeding influences forest soil seed banks and
    • Authors: Bogdan Jaroszewicz; Kamil Kwiecień, Patryk Czortek, Wanda Olech, Ewa Pirożnikow
      Pages: 683 - 691
      Abstract: QuestionTo what extent does winter supplementary feeding influence vegetation and soil seed banks in forest ecosystems'LocationBiałowieża Primaeval Forest, NE Poland.MethodsSeveral dozen feeding stations, each composed of one to several haystacks, are used in Białowieża Forest for supplementary winter feeding of European bison (Bison bonasus). We checked the species composition and availability of seeds in hay in 15 haystacks of the eight oldest feeding stations, which could be a potential source of seeds. Vegetation and soil seed bank were sampled on the overlapping 10 m × 10 m plots distributed along 500-m long transects running south and north of the studied feeding stations. Seed content in the soil samples was studied by the seedling emergence method in an unheated greenhouse.ResultsWe revealed high dissimilarity of species composition of the hayseed, soil seed bank and standing vegetation. The dissimilarity between soil seed banks and standing vegetation increased with the distance from the haystack. The species richness of the standing vegetation was not affected by distance to the haystack, while seed bank species richness showed a significant negative correlation with distance. The mean weighted ecological indicator values of pH, light and soil fertility were negatively correlated with the distance from the haystack for the seed bank and the standing vegetation. The percentage of damaged bushes and juvenile trees was positively correlated with their density and decreased with the distance from the haystack.ConclusionsWe revealed distinct but local (25–50 m off the haystack) effect of supplementary feeding on the vegetation and soil seed banks of forest ecosystems. Taking into account the ecosystem approach to nature conservation, the winter feeding in forest ecosystems should be concentrated in few places to avoid the expansion of non-native plant species in forest ecosystems. To prevent potential plant invasions, the origin of the hay used as supplementary winter fodder should be carefully selected, with a preference for local origin and making of hay of native plant species in the forest's meadows or in its surroundings.The winter supplementary feeding significantly affects vegetation and soil seed banks of forest ecosystems in a local scale (25–50 m off the haystack). To minimize this negative effects of supplementary feeding, it should be concentrated in very few places, and the preference should be given to hay of local origin, made of native plant species in forest meadows.
      PubDate: 2017-06-21T04:55:32.950111-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12319
  • Vascular plant species richness and composition in two types of
           post-cultivation tropical secondary forest
    • Authors: Louise Neo; Alex T.K. Yee, Kwek Yan Chong, Carmen Y. Kee, Hugh T.W. Tan
      Pages: 692 - 701
      Abstract: QuestionHow are plant communities in forests regenerating on post-cultivation land structured along environmental gradients, landscape context and past land use' We investigated this for two types of post-agricultural fates: plantations abandoned with trees intact (abandoned land forest) versus land that was cleared and left to regenerate into a forest (waste woodland).LocationThe tropical city-state of Singapore, Southeast Asia.MethodsFive 20 m × 20 m plots were surveyed for vascular plants in each of 11 patches of abandoned land forest and nine patches of waste woodland. For each plot, we estimated soil nutrient levels (N, K, P), canopy cover, leaf litter depth, distance to old-growth forest and the size of the forest patch.ResultsFor both forest types, increasing leaf litter and distance to old-growth forest is associated with lower species richness. Increasing soil N in abandoned land forest and increasing soil K in waste woodland is associated with lower total and native species richness, but not exotic species richness. Overall community composition is correlated with leaf litter, canopy cover, soil P and K and distance to old-growth forest.ConclusionsDifferent forms of land abandonment resulted in different successional trajectories that led to separate sets of environmental drivers of community patterns. Restoring such degraded forms of vegetation to native-rich communities may require management of soil nutrient levels and enrichment planting.Plant species richness and community composition in exotic-dominated post-cultivation vegetation in Singapore are associated with leaf litter depth, soil nutrient concentrations, and distance to old-growth forest. Plant communities differ between plantations abandoned with the trees intact (abandoned-land forest) and plantations cleared and left to regenerate (waste-woodland), while species richness is associated with different nutrients in the two forest types.
      PubDate: 2017-07-27T13:22:25.914227-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12322
  • Diversity of lowland hay meadows and pastures in Western and Central
    • Authors: Maria Pilar Rodríguez-Rojo; Borja Jiménez-Alfaro, Ute Jandt, Helge Bruelheide, John S. Rodwell, Joop H.J. Schaminée, Philip M. Perrin, Zygmunt Kącki, Wolfgang Willner, Federico Fernández-González, Milan Chytrý
      Pages: 702 - 719
      Abstract: QuestionsWhich are the main vegetation types of lowland hay meadows and pastures in Western and Central Europe' What are the main environmental gradients that drive patterns of species composition' Is it possible to classify these grasslands to phytosociological alliances that reflect management practices'LocationWestern and Central Europe (excluding the Alps and Carpathians).MethodsA database of 21 400 vegetation plots of mesic grasslands across Western and Central Europe was compiled. After geographically stratified resampling, semi-supervised classification based on the K-means algorithm was applied to assign a subset of plots into 32 a priori association-level vegetation types and to search for new types within the subset of non-assigned plots. The vegetation plots assigned into the final vegetation types were submitted to another K-means classification to show the grouping into higher-level vegetation types.ResultsA total of 36 associations were distinguished in the resampled subset of 8277 vegetation plots and were grouped into four large groups: (1) eutrophic and intensively managed hay meadows and permanent pastures; (2) nutrient-rich grasslands developed from recently abandoned fields or managed under irregular practices of mowing and manuring; (3) non-eutrophic lowland and submontane hay meadows; (4) extensively managed pastures and Atlantic grazed hay meadows. A PCoA of the associations of these four groups showed that extensively managed pastures were floristically more similar to non-eutrophic hay meadows than to permanent intensively managed pastures, which was more obvious in the Atlantic region than in Central Europe. Species composition of the lowland hay meadows was clearly differentiated according to biogeographic sectors. Other floristic differences were related to climate, altitude, soil base status and topography.ConclusionsThis analysis challenges the traditional concept of mesic grassland alliances separating hay meadows from pastures. New classification should be based mainly on the differences in management intensity rather than in management practice. Consequently, nutrient-poor extensive pastures, which currently are not considered in the European Habitats Directive, should receive the same conservation attention as low-intensive hay meadows, because both types of vegetation can be equally species-rich and do not differ substantially in floristic composition from each other.This paper challenges the traditional concept of mesic grassland alliances separating hay meadows from pastures. They can be classified into four large groups according to the differences in management intensity rather than in management practice. The results provide a basis for the delineation of the habitats of the European Habitats Directive, proposing the inclusion of the nutrient-poor extensive pastures.
      PubDate: 2017-08-07T01:41:06.780613-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12326
  • Legacy effects of historical grazing affect the response of vegetation
           dynamics to water and nitrogen addition in semi‐arid steppe
    • Abstract: QuestionClimate change interacts with land use and introduces new pressures that trigger growing concerns about increasing vulnerability of the Eurasian steppes. However, it is not well known how increasing precipitation and atmospheric nitrogen deposition interact with the land use legacy to affect nutrient availability, plant species composition, and therefore vegetation dynamics of the Mongolian Steppe.LocationSteppe in Xilin River Basin, Inner Mongolia, China. The mean annual precipitation is 343 mm with 60‐80% of it occurring during the plant growing season.MethodsWe conducted a 6‐year (2005‐2010) field experiment to manipulate nitrogen and water availability on sites experiencing two different historical stocking rates. Species composition, aboveground biomass and plant nitrogen concentration were determined at both individual and community levels. Soil cumulative inorganic nitrogen and nitrogen mineralization rates were determined by laboratory incubation.Results1) Supplementary irrigation increased soil cumulative inorganic nitrogen and nitrogen mineralization rate, plant community N uptake, and the abundance of perennial species for the site with high historical stocking rate. In contrast, long‐term water addition decreased soil cumulative inorganic nitrogen and nitrogen mineralization rate, and did not change the plant community N uptake, but increased the abundance of C. squarrosa as a species indicative of degradation for site with moderate historic stocking rate. 2) Nitrogen addition increased soil cumulative inorganic nitrogen and nitrogen mineralization rate irrespective of grazing history under ambient precipitation, and resulted in the burst of annuals in moist years at both sites. Under supplementary irrigation, nitrogen addition increased soil cumulative inorganic nitrogen and nitrogen mineralization rate at the site with moderate historic stocking rate, but not at the site with high historical stocking rate, and increased the abundance of taller perennial species at both sites.ConclusionsLegacy effects of grazing greatly affect the plant composition responses to increasing water and nitrogen availability. The effectiveness of N application in restoring heavily degraded sites in the Mongol Steppe depends on precipitation availability. In the face of increasing precipitation and atmospheric N deposition, resource managers should be prepared to cope with the different vegetation succession and recovery trajectories as a result of historical land use difference.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
  • Soil properties and neighboring forest cover affect aboveground biomass
           and functional composition during tropical forest restoration
    • Abstract: QuestionsWe studied the importance of soil properties and neighbouring forest cover in affecting plant community biomass and assembly during the tropical forest restoration process. We also investigated how compositional responses depended on traits expected to influence individual success.LocationForest restoration sites (N=32) distributed across anthropogenic grasslands in six mixed‐use agricultural watersheds in Eastern São Paulo state (Brazil).MethodsWe identified and measured all woody individuals (DBH ≥5 cm) in four 200 m² plots per site. Then we translated these measurements into aboveground biomass (AGB), and related AGB variability to neighbouring forest cover, soil texture and chemical fertility with mixed effect models. We assessed the effect of these predictors on different species groups, arranged according to variation in wood density, tree height or habitat selectivity, through multivariate abundance models.ResultsAGB ranged between 0 and 104.7 ton/ha (median of 10.4 ton/ha), with high variation within, as well as between, watersheds. Sand percentage, forest cover, and the interaction between soil nutrient concentrations and sand percentage were good predictors of measured AGB. The most parsimonious model projected a seven growing‐seasons AGB recovery of 70.90 ton/ha, when a site is on fertile soils with 10% sand and surrounded by forest cover of 50%. In contrast, only 5.24 ton/ha is predicted on acidic‐poor soils with 67% sand and 0% forest cover. Increasing forest cover favoured smaller trees and habitat‐generalists while increasing sand percentage inhibited taller‐species and forest‐specialists. Sand percentage constrained softwoods in fertile soils.ConclusionOur results confirm that the likelihood of restoration to pre‐disturbance conditions is constrained in contexts of higher degradation, such as when agricultural use adversely affects soil properties and/or motivates extreme deforestation. Lower AGB found on sandy soils suggests that forest recovery is sensitive to local drought intensification. Given regional projections for extended dry seasons, restoration approaches could consider targeting alternative reference states, rather than historical/undisturbed ones, under highly altered environments, while aiming to improve soil and microclimate conditions to allow moist tropical forest recovery where feasible.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
  • An innovative vegetation survey design in Mediterranean cliffs shows
           evidence of higher tolerance of specialized rock plants to rock climbing
    • Abstract: QuestionsIs rock climbing pressure, together with microtopographic conditions, disturbing cliff plant cover and composition' What are the climbing impacts on rock specialist and non‐specialist species' Can a case‐control approach, not previously implemented in cliff environments, offer additional value for actual and long‐term ecological research'LocationChulilla, Levante coast, Spain.MethodsWe surveyed in situ nine rock climbing routes in order to examine differences in plant species richness and vegetation cover between unclimbed and climbed transects. To evaluate the effect of rock climbing on vegetation, we implemented a case‐control methodology using the two zones immediately adjacent to common climbing routes as control points (i.e. unclimbed transects). Three quadrats of 3 m × 3 m were established at different cliff heights. All identified species were categorized as either specialized rock species or non‐specialized rock species based on their habitat preferences from literature. Non‐specialized rock species were further differentiated as either moderately associated with rocky environments or strict generalists. The rock climbing impact on each group of species was analysed using LMM.ResultsOur results provide evidence of the effects of rock climbing on a Mediterranean cliff, which has received little attention so far. Significantly fewer generalist species were present on climbed compared to unclimbed transects, while specialized and moderately specialized rock species were not significantly affected by rock climbing intensity. Furthermore, while rock‐specific and moderately specialized species could cope with microsite heterogeneity, areas with fewer cracks had significantly negative effects on generalist species.ConclusionsModerate rock climbing activity on cliff environments might not reduce the presence of specialized rock‐dwelling species; however, this activity inherently impacts the biodiversity of cliff ecosystems due to its large effect on generalist species. We recommend that future conservation studies account for the degree of species dependence on rocky habitats to better understand rock‐climbing impacts in these singular ecosystems. According to our experience, the implementation of an adjacent case‐control survey design for monitoring cliff vegetation can help improve and unify methodology for such studies, as this is still an underdeveloped field.The effects of rock‐climbing on plants thriving in cliff ecosystems are poorly known. Furthermore, the roles of several relevant features are vastly unexplored. To examine these issues, a new methodology was implemented while surveying Mediterranean cliffs, one of the least studied habitats. Among other results, rock‐specialist species had notably higher resistance to the climbing impact while generalist were more disturbed.
  • Using the response – effect trait framework to quantify the value of
           fallow patches in agricultural landscapes to pollinators
    • Abstract: QuestionsWhat is the role of managed fallow habitats in providing resources for pollination services in agricultural landscapes' How is resource provision affected by fallow management and landscape structure' Can the resulting variation in the value of fallows to pollinators be explained using the response‐and‐effect trait framework'LocationFour semi‐arid Mediterranean agricultural regions (NE Iberian Peninsula).MethodsLandscape complexity, fallow field age and management practices were identified as the explanatory factors that interact which each other and affect the provision of resource for pollination communities. A trait‐based approach was taken to model the system. Plant traits were selected on the basis of their response to abiotic factors (response traits) and those that influence the interaction with pollinators (effect traits). Plant community characterization was calculated based on both taxonomic and functional indices. The linkages between the selected plant traits on contrasting fallows were analyzed using community‐weighted mean Redundancy Analysis (CWM‐RDA).ResultsThe presence of semi‐natural areas in the landscape was shown to enhance the value of fallows for pollinators, providing a source of diverse flower forms. In contrast, we found that field edges act as a relatively poor reservoir for flowering plant species in these areas. Land‐use practices promoting mid‐successional plant communities that support the coexistence of diverse life forms with overlapping flowering periods and a range of flower morphologies had the greatest potential to support a diverse pollinator community.ConclusionsAn early‐herbicide application (February) combined with shredding were identified as the best fallow‐practices for enhancing resources for pollinators. The construction of our framework will help policy makers to identify management recommendations that will result in the most beneficial plant communities for pollinators in fallows.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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