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Community structure and diversity of bryophytes and vascular plants in abandoned fen meadows


Peintinger, Markus; Bergamini, Ariel (2006). Community structure and diversity of bryophytes and vascular plants in abandoned fen meadows. Plant Ecology, 185(1):1-17.

Abstract

We examined effects of abandonment on species diversity and species composition by comparing 21 calcareous fen meadows in the pre-alpine zone of central and northeastern Switzerland. Meadows were divided into three classes of successional stages (mown: annually mown in late summer, young fallow: 4-15years, and old fallow: >15years of abandonment). In each fen, we measured litter mass in four 20cm×20cm plots, as well as (aboveground) biomass and species density (number of species per unit area) of bryophytes and vascular plants. Bryophyte biomass was reduced in abandoned fens, whereas litter mass and aboveground biomass of vascular plants increased. Species density of both taxonomic groups was lower in abandoned than in mown fens. Young and old successional stages were not different except for bryophytes, for which old successional stages had higher species density than young stages. We used litter mass and aboveground biomass of vascular plants as covariables in analyses of variance to reveal their effects on species density of both taxonomic groups. For bryophytes, litter mass was more important than vascular plant biomass in explaining variance of species density. This indicates severe effects of burying by litter on bryophyte species density. For species density of vascular plants, both vascular plant biomass and litter mass were of similar importance in explaining the decreased species density. Canonical correspondence analyses showed that abandonment also had an effect on species composition of both bryophytes and vascular plants. However, young and old successional stages were not different indicating fast initial changes after abandonment, but slow secondary succession afterwards. Furthermore, indicator species analysis showed that there was no establishment of new species after abandonment that might dramatically alter fen communities. Re-introduction of mowing as a nature conservation strategy may thus be very promising - even for old fallows

Abstract

We examined effects of abandonment on species diversity and species composition by comparing 21 calcareous fen meadows in the pre-alpine zone of central and northeastern Switzerland. Meadows were divided into three classes of successional stages (mown: annually mown in late summer, young fallow: 4-15years, and old fallow: >15years of abandonment). In each fen, we measured litter mass in four 20cm×20cm plots, as well as (aboveground) biomass and species density (number of species per unit area) of bryophytes and vascular plants. Bryophyte biomass was reduced in abandoned fens, whereas litter mass and aboveground biomass of vascular plants increased. Species density of both taxonomic groups was lower in abandoned than in mown fens. Young and old successional stages were not different except for bryophytes, for which old successional stages had higher species density than young stages. We used litter mass and aboveground biomass of vascular plants as covariables in analyses of variance to reveal their effects on species density of both taxonomic groups. For bryophytes, litter mass was more important than vascular plant biomass in explaining variance of species density. This indicates severe effects of burying by litter on bryophyte species density. For species density of vascular plants, both vascular plant biomass and litter mass were of similar importance in explaining the decreased species density. Canonical correspondence analyses showed that abandonment also had an effect on species composition of both bryophytes and vascular plants. However, young and old successional stages were not different indicating fast initial changes after abandonment, but slow secondary succession afterwards. Furthermore, indicator species analysis showed that there was no establishment of new species after abandonment that might dramatically alter fen communities. Re-introduction of mowing as a nature conservation strategy may thus be very promising - even for old fallows

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:National licences > 142-005
Dewey Decimal Classification:Unspecified
Language:English
Date:1 July 2006
Deposited On:17 Dec 2018 17:27
Last Modified:24 Sep 2019 23:46
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1385-0237
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s11258-005-9079-y
Related URLs:https://www.swissbib.ch/Search/Results?lookfor=nationallicencespringer101007s112580059079y (Library Catalogue)

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