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Responses of grassland species richness to local and landscape factors depend on spatial scale and habitat specialization

Reitalu, Triin LU ; Purschke, Oliver LU ; Jönsson, Lotten LU ; Hall, Karin LU ; Sykes, Martin LU and Prentice, Honor C LU (2012) In Journal of Vegetation Science 23(1). p.41-51
Abstract
Questions: To what extent is species richness in semi-natural grasslands related to local environmental factors and (present/past) surrounding landscape structure?

Do responses of species richness depend on degree of habitat specialization

(specialists vs generalists) and/or scale of the study?

Location: Öland, Sweden.

Methods: Richness of herbaceous vascular plants (subdivided into richness of

grassland specialists and generalists) was recorded within 50 9 50 cm plots and 0.1–4.8 ha grassland polygons. Generalized linearmodels and hierarchical partitioning were used to identify local factors (habitat area and heterogeneity, grazing intensity, habitat continuity) and landscape factors... (More)
Questions: To what extent is species richness in semi-natural grasslands related to local environmental factors and (present/past) surrounding landscape structure?

Do responses of species richness depend on degree of habitat specialization

(specialists vs generalists) and/or scale of the study?

Location: Öland, Sweden.

Methods: Richness of herbaceous vascular plants (subdivided into richness of

grassland specialists and generalists) was recorded within 50 9 50 cm plots and 0.1–4.8 ha grassland polygons. Generalized linearmodels and hierarchical partitioning were used to identify local factors (habitat area and heterogeneity, grazing intensity, habitat continuity) and landscape factors (proportion of surrounding grassland in 2004, 1938 and 1800, and landscape diversity in 2004)associated with the richness estimates.

Results: At the polygon scale, both specialist and generalist richness was positively associated with local habitat area and heterogeneity and, independently of area and heterogeneity, with grazing intensity, habitat continuity and amount of surrounding grassland in 1800. At the plot scale, specialist species richness was positively associated with habitat heterogeneity, amount of surrounding grassland in 2004 and landscape diversity. Plot-scale generalist richness was negatively associated with surrounding grassland in 1938 and positively associated with local grazing intensity.

Conclusions: Because both habitat specialization and study scale influence conclusions about relationships between species richness and local and landscape factors, the study highlights the need to consider species diversity at multiple spatial scales when making decisions about grassland management. Large-scale(polygon) species richness is influenced by immigration processes, with both specialists and generalists accumulating in old grasslands over centuries of grazing management. Habitat heterogeneity increased specialist species richness at both scales, suggesting that management policies should favour maintenance of a heterogeneous mosaic of open areas, trees and shrubs in temperate grazed grasslands. Although grassland specialists are sensitive to grassland isolation, in

extensively managed landscapes with high landscape diversity input of grassland species from the landscape matrix may buffer negative effects of habitat fragmentation on grassland communities. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Connectivity, Continuity, Habitat fragmentation, History, Landscape structure, Species diversity
in
Journal of Vegetation Science
volume
23
issue
1
pages
41 - 51
publisher
International Association of Vegetation Science
external identifiers
  • wos:000298919100006
  • scopus:84855528782
ISSN
1654-1103
DOI
10.1111/j.1654-1103.2011.01334.x
project
BECC
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
29b39d33-fac9-446d-87d6-2724f61005f5 (old id 2174188)
date added to LUP
2011-10-17 13:13:16
date last changed
2017-07-09 03:10:36
@article{29b39d33-fac9-446d-87d6-2724f61005f5,
  abstract     = {Questions: To what extent is species richness in semi-natural grasslands related to local environmental factors and (present/past) surrounding landscape structure?<br/><br>
Do responses of species richness depend on degree of habitat specialization<br/><br>
(specialists vs generalists) and/or scale of the study?<br/><br>
Location: Öland, Sweden.<br/><br>
Methods: Richness of herbaceous vascular plants (subdivided into richness of<br/><br>
grassland specialists and generalists) was recorded within 50 9 50 cm plots and 0.1–4.8 ha grassland polygons. Generalized linearmodels and hierarchical partitioning were used to identify local factors (habitat area and heterogeneity, grazing intensity, habitat continuity) and landscape factors (proportion of surrounding grassland in 2004, 1938 and 1800, and landscape diversity in 2004)associated with the richness estimates.<br/><br>
Results: At the polygon scale, both specialist and generalist richness was positively associated with local habitat area and heterogeneity and, independently of area and heterogeneity, with grazing intensity, habitat continuity and amount of surrounding grassland in 1800. At the plot scale, specialist species richness was positively associated with habitat heterogeneity, amount of surrounding grassland in 2004 and landscape diversity. Plot-scale generalist richness was negatively associated with surrounding grassland in 1938 and positively associated with local grazing intensity.<br/><br>
Conclusions: Because both habitat specialization and study scale influence conclusions about relationships between species richness and local and landscape factors, the study highlights the need to consider species diversity at multiple spatial scales when making decisions about grassland management. Large-scale(polygon) species richness is influenced by immigration processes, with both specialists and generalists accumulating in old grasslands over centuries of grazing management. Habitat heterogeneity increased specialist species richness at both scales, suggesting that management policies should favour maintenance of a heterogeneous mosaic of open areas, trees and shrubs in temperate grazed grasslands. Although grassland specialists are sensitive to grassland isolation, in<br/><br>
extensively managed landscapes with high landscape diversity input of grassland species from the landscape matrix may buffer negative effects of habitat fragmentation on grassland communities.},
  author       = {Reitalu, Triin and Purschke, Oliver and Jönsson, Lotten and Hall, Karin and Sykes, Martin and Prentice, Honor C},
  issn         = {1654-1103},
  keyword      = {Connectivity,Continuity,Habitat fragmentation,History,Landscape structure,Species diversity},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {41--51},
  publisher    = {International Association of Vegetation Science},
  series       = {Journal of Vegetation Science},
  title        = {Responses of grassland species richness to local and landscape factors depend on spatial scale and habitat specialization},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1654-1103.2011.01334.x},
  volume       = {23},
  year         = {2012},
}