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Understory succession in post-agricultural oak forests: Habitat fragmentation affects forest specialists and generalists differently

Brunet, Jorg; Valtinat, Karin LU ; Mayr, Marian Lajos; Felton, Adam; Lindbladh, Matts and Bruun, Hans Henrik (2011) In Forest Ecology and Management 262(9). p.1863-1871
Abstract
The herbaceous understory forms the richest stratum in temperate broadleaved forests in terms of plant diversity. Understanding the process of understory succession is thus of critical importance for the development of management guidelines for biodiversity restoration in post-agricultural plantation forests. We studied effects of stand age, forest fragmentation, and soil and canopy conditions on species richness and abundance of four species groups in the understory of post-arable oak plantations in southern Sweden: herbaceous forest specialists, habitat generalists and open-land species, and woody species. The group of forest specialists may approach the richness of continuously forested sites after 60-80 years in non-fragmented... (More)
The herbaceous understory forms the richest stratum in temperate broadleaved forests in terms of plant diversity. Understanding the process of understory succession is thus of critical importance for the development of management guidelines for biodiversity restoration in post-agricultural plantation forests. We studied effects of stand age, forest fragmentation, and soil and canopy conditions on species richness and abundance of four species groups in the understory of post-arable oak plantations in southern Sweden: herbaceous forest specialists, habitat generalists and open-land species, and woody species. The group of forest specialists may approach the richness of continuously forested sites after 60-80 years in non-fragmented plantations, but many forest species were sensitive to habitat fragmentation. Open-land species richness decreased during succession, while the richness of woody species and of generalists remained stable, and was not affected by fragmentation. Abundance of generalists gradually decreased in non-fragmented plantations, probably due to competition from colonizing forest specialists. Soil pH in post-arable stands remained consistently higher than in continuously forested stands, which maintained differences in species composition. The development of a shrub layer seemed to imply a competitive advantage for forest specialists compared to generalist species. For successful recovery of a rich understory, we suggest that post-arable plantations should be established on loamy soils of intermediate to high pH proximate to older forest with source populations, and that a continuous overstory canopy cover of 70-80% is maintained by regular light thinnings and promotion of a shrub layer. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. (Less)
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organization
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type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Ancient woodland plants, Chronosequence, Dispersal limitation, Herbaceous layer, Quercus robur, Temperate broadleaved forest
in
Forest Ecology and Management
volume
262
issue
9
pages
1863 - 1871
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000295754900023
  • scopus:80052733646
ISSN
1872-7042
DOI
10.1016/j.foreco.2011.08.007
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
b8620dc0-f652-4d81-8d37-52534371aa0b (old id 2212806)
date added to LUP
2011-11-23 13:19:18
date last changed
2017-09-17 05:57:44
@article{b8620dc0-f652-4d81-8d37-52534371aa0b,
  abstract     = {The herbaceous understory forms the richest stratum in temperate broadleaved forests in terms of plant diversity. Understanding the process of understory succession is thus of critical importance for the development of management guidelines for biodiversity restoration in post-agricultural plantation forests. We studied effects of stand age, forest fragmentation, and soil and canopy conditions on species richness and abundance of four species groups in the understory of post-arable oak plantations in southern Sweden: herbaceous forest specialists, habitat generalists and open-land species, and woody species. The group of forest specialists may approach the richness of continuously forested sites after 60-80 years in non-fragmented plantations, but many forest species were sensitive to habitat fragmentation. Open-land species richness decreased during succession, while the richness of woody species and of generalists remained stable, and was not affected by fragmentation. Abundance of generalists gradually decreased in non-fragmented plantations, probably due to competition from colonizing forest specialists. Soil pH in post-arable stands remained consistently higher than in continuously forested stands, which maintained differences in species composition. The development of a shrub layer seemed to imply a competitive advantage for forest specialists compared to generalist species. For successful recovery of a rich understory, we suggest that post-arable plantations should be established on loamy soils of intermediate to high pH proximate to older forest with source populations, and that a continuous overstory canopy cover of 70-80% is maintained by regular light thinnings and promotion of a shrub layer. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.},
  author       = {Brunet, Jorg and Valtinat, Karin and Mayr, Marian Lajos and Felton, Adam and Lindbladh, Matts and Bruun, Hans Henrik},
  issn         = {1872-7042},
  keyword      = {Ancient woodland plants,Chronosequence,Dispersal limitation,Herbaceous layer,Quercus robur,Temperate broadleaved forest},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {9},
  pages        = {1863--1871},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Forest Ecology and Management},
  title        = {Understory succession in post-agricultural oak forests: Habitat fragmentation affects forest specialists and generalists differently},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2011.08.007},
  volume       = {262},
  year         = {2011},
}