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Interactive effects of landscape history and current management on dispersal trait diversity in grassland plant communities

Purschke, Oliver LU ; Sykes, Martin LU ; Poschlod, Peter; Michalski, Stefan; Römermann, Christine; Durka, Walter; Kühn, Ingolf and Prentice, Honor C LU (2014) In Journal of Ecology 102(2). p.437-446
Abstract
Summary



Plant communities and their ecosystem functions are expected to be more resilient to future habitat fragmentation and deterioration if the species comprising the communities have a wide range of dispersal and persistence strategies. However, the extent to which the diversity of dispersal and persistence traits in plant communities is determined by the current and historical characteristics of sites and their surrounding landscape has yet to be explored.

Using quantitative information on long-distance seed dispersal potential by wind and animals (dispersal in space) and on species' persistence/longevity (dispersal in time), we (i) compared levels of dispersal and persistence trait diversity (functional... (More)
Summary



Plant communities and their ecosystem functions are expected to be more resilient to future habitat fragmentation and deterioration if the species comprising the communities have a wide range of dispersal and persistence strategies. However, the extent to which the diversity of dispersal and persistence traits in plant communities is determined by the current and historical characteristics of sites and their surrounding landscape has yet to be explored.

Using quantitative information on long-distance seed dispersal potential by wind and animals (dispersal in space) and on species' persistence/longevity (dispersal in time), we (i) compared levels of dispersal and persistence trait diversity (functional richness, FRic, and functional divergence, FDiv) in seminatural grassland plant communities with those expected by chance, and (ii) quantified the extent to which trait diversity was explained by current and historical landscape structure and local management history – taking into account spatial and phylogenetic autocorrel.

Null model analysis revealed that more grassland communities than expected had a level of trait diversity that was lower or higher than predicted, given the level of species richness. Both the range (FRic) and divergence (FDiv) of dispersal and persistence trait values increased with grassland age. FDiv was mainly explained by the interaction between current grazing intensity and the amount of grassland habitat in the surrounding landscape in 1938.

Synthesis. The study suggests that the variability of dispersal and persistence traits in grassland plant communities is driven by deterministic assembly processes, with both history and current management (and their interactions), playing a major role as determinants of trait diversity. While a long continuity of grazing management is likely to have promoted the diversity of dispersal and persistence traits in present-day grasslands, communities in sites that are well grazed at the present day, and were also surrounded by large amounts of grassland in the past, showed the highest diversity of dispersal and persistence strategies. Our results indicate that the historical context of a site within a landscape will influence the extent to which current grazing management is able to maintain a diversity of dispersal and persistence strategies and buffer communities (and their associated functions) against continuing habitat fragmentation. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
landscape fragmentation, historical anthropogenic impacts, functional richness, functional divergence, community assembly, determinants of plant community diversity and structure, persistence, phylogenetic autocorrelation, seminatural grasslands, spatial autocorrelation
in
Journal of Ecology
volume
102
issue
2
pages
437 - 446
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • pmid:25506086
  • wos:000331467300014
  • scopus:84894274614
ISSN
1365-2745
DOI
10.1111/1365-2745.12199
project
BECC
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f769ecee-7047-4bcb-b517-061c09e40990 (old id 4285196)
date added to LUP
2014-02-07 13:32:49
date last changed
2017-10-22 03:02:33
@article{f769ecee-7047-4bcb-b517-061c09e40990,
  abstract     = {Summary<br/><br>
<br/><br>
 Plant communities and their ecosystem functions are expected to be more resilient to future habitat fragmentation and deterioration if the species comprising the communities have a wide range of dispersal and persistence strategies. However, the extent to which the diversity of dispersal and persistence traits in plant communities is determined by the current and historical characteristics of sites and their surrounding landscape has yet to be explored.<br/><br>
 Using quantitative information on long-distance seed dispersal potential by wind and animals (dispersal in space) and on species' persistence/longevity (dispersal in time), we (i) compared levels of dispersal and persistence trait diversity (functional richness, FRic, and functional divergence, FDiv) in seminatural grassland plant communities with those expected by chance, and (ii) quantified the extent to which trait diversity was explained by current and historical landscape structure and local management history – taking into account spatial and phylogenetic autocorrel.<br/><br>
 Null model analysis revealed that more grassland communities than expected had a level of trait diversity that was lower or higher than predicted, given the level of species richness. Both the range (FRic) and divergence (FDiv) of dispersal and persistence trait values increased with grassland age. FDiv was mainly explained by the interaction between current grazing intensity and the amount of grassland habitat in the surrounding landscape in 1938.<br/><br>
 Synthesis. The study suggests that the variability of dispersal and persistence traits in grassland plant communities is driven by deterministic assembly processes, with both history and current management (and their interactions), playing a major role as determinants of trait diversity. While a long continuity of grazing management is likely to have promoted the diversity of dispersal and persistence traits in present-day grasslands, communities in sites that are well grazed at the present day, and were also surrounded by large amounts of grassland in the past, showed the highest diversity of dispersal and persistence strategies. Our results indicate that the historical context of a site within a landscape will influence the extent to which current grazing management is able to maintain a diversity of dispersal and persistence strategies and buffer communities (and their associated functions) against continuing habitat fragmentation.},
  author       = {Purschke, Oliver and Sykes, Martin and Poschlod, Peter and Michalski, Stefan and Römermann, Christine and Durka, Walter and Kühn, Ingolf and Prentice, Honor C},
  issn         = {1365-2745},
  keyword      = {landscape fragmentation,historical anthropogenic impacts,functional richness,functional divergence,community assembly,determinants of plant community diversity and structure,persistence,phylogenetic autocorrelation,seminatural grasslands,spatial autocorrelation},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {437--446},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Journal of Ecology},
  title        = {Interactive effects of landscape history and current management on dispersal trait diversity in grassland plant communities},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.12199},
  volume       = {102},
  year         = {2014},
}