Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Growth and yield of mixed versus pure stands of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) analysed along a productivity gradient through Europe
Pretzsch, H. ; Ammer, C. ; Barbeito, I. ; Mohren, G.M.J. ; Ouden, J. den; Verheyen, K. - \ 2015
European Journal of Forest Research 134 (2015)5. - ISSN 1612-4669 - p. 927 - 947.
spruce picea-abies - long-term experiments - norway spruce - species forests - structural complexity - temperate forests - plant-communities - modeling approach - crown plasticity - tree diversity
Mixing of complementary tree species may increase stand productivity, mitigate the effects of drought and other risks, and pave the way to forest production systems which may be more resource-use efficient and stable in the face of climate change. However, systematic empirical studies on mixing effects are still missing for many commercially important and widespread species combinations. Here we studied the growth of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) in mixed versus pure stands on 32 triplets located along a productivity gradient through Europe, reaching from Sweden to Bulgaria and from Spain to the Ukraine. Stand inventory and taking increment cores on the mainly 60–80 year-old trees and 0.02–1.55 ha sized, fully stocked plots provided insight how species mixing modifies the structure, dynamics and productivity compared with neighbouring pure stands. In mixture standing volume (+12 %), stand density (+20 %), basal area growth (+12 %), and stand volume growth (+8 %) were higher than the weighted mean of the neighbouring pure stands. Scots pine and European beech contributed rather equally to the overyielding and overdensity. In mixed stands mean diameter (+20 %) and height (+6 %) of Scots pine was ahead, while both diameter and height growth of European beech were behind (-8 %). The overyielding and overdensity were independent of the site index, the stand growth and yield, and climatic variables despite the wide variation in precipitation (520–1175 mm year-1), mean annual temperature (6–10.5 °C), and the drought index by de Martonne (28–61 mm °C-1) on the sites. Therefore, this species combination is potentially useful for increasing productivity across a wide range of site and climatic conditions. Given the significant overyielding of stand basal area growth but the absence of any relationship with site index and climatic variables, we hypothesize that the overyielding and overdensity results from several different types of interactions (light-, water-, and nutrient-related) that are all important in different circumstances. We discuss the relevance of the results for ecological theory and for the ongoing silvicultural transition from pure to mixed stands and their adaptation to climate change.
Chemical variation in Jacobaea vulgaris is influenced by the interaction of season and vegetation successional stage
Almeida De Carvalho, S. ; Macel, M. ; Mulder, P.P.J. ; Skidmore, A. ; Putten, W.H. van der - \ 2014
Phytochemistry 99 (2014). - ISSN 0031-9422 - p. 86 - 94.
senecio-jacobaea - pyrrolizidine alkaloids - plant-communities - tyria-jacobaeae - cinnabar moth - life-history - dual role - soil - chronosequence - nitrogen
Knowledge on spatio-temporal dynamics of plant primary and secondary chemistry under natural conditions is important to assess how plant defence varies in real field conditions. Plant primary and secondary chemistry is known to vary with both season and vegetation successional stage, however, in few studies these two sources of variation have been examined in combination. Here we examine variations in primary and secondary chemistry of Jacobaea vulgaris (Asteraceae) throughout the growing season in early, mid, and late stages of secondary succession following land abandonment using a well-established chronosequence in The Netherlands.
A model-based approach to studying changes in compositional heterogeneity
Baeten, L. ; Warton, D. ; Calster, H. van; Frenne, P. De; Verstraeten, G. ; Bonte, D. ; Bernhardt-Romermann, M. ; Cornelis, R. ; Decocq, G. ; Eriksson, O. ; Hommel, P.W.F.M. - \ 2014
Methods in Ecology and Evolution 5 (2014)2. - ISSN 2041-210X - p. 156 - 164.
with-standards forest - biotic homogenization - beta-diversity - plant-communities - deciduous forest - vegetation - turnover - dissimilarity - nestedness - dispersion
1. Non-random species loss and gain in local communities change the compositional heterogeneity between communities over time, which is traditionally quantified with dissimilarity-based approaches. Yet, dissimilarities summarize the multivariate species data into a univariate index and obscure the species-level patterns of change, which are central to understand the causes and consequences of the community changes. 2. Here, we propose a model-based approach that looks for species-level effects of time period and construct a multiple-site metric as a sum across species to test the consistency of the individual species responses. Species fall into different response types, showing how they influence the changes in community heterogeneity. 3. In a comparison with other multiple-sitemetrics, we illustrate the properties of our method and the differences and similarities with other approaches. For instance, ourmetric estimates the total variation in a community data set based on species-level contributions, not the compositional dissimilarities between particular sites. Similar to some other approaches, we can distinguish between heterogeneity derived from turnover or richness differences. 4. Our approach was applied to a set of 23 forest understorey resurvey studies spread across Europe. We show the species gains and lossesmay as well decrease or increase levels of community heterogeneity. Although species occurrences and communities have not changed in a consistent way along continental-scale environmental gradients such as climatic conditions, several species shifted in a similar way across the different data sets. 5. Testing the significance of shifts in species prevalence over time to infer corresponding changes in the compositional heterogeneity among sites provides a very intuitive tool for community resurvey studies. The main strengths of our framework are the explicit consideration of the relative roles of species gains and losses and the straightforward generalization to different sets of hypotheses related to community changes. Key-words: biodiversity, community composition, biotic homogenization, binomial deviance, dissimilarity, beta diversity,multivariate analysis,meta-analysis, forest understorey
Applying the ecosystem services framework to pasture-based livestock farming systems in Europe
Rodríguez-Ortega, T. ; Oteros Rozas, E. ; Ripoll Bosch, R. ; Tichit, M. ; Martín-López, B. ; Bernués, A. - \ 2014
Animal 8 (2014)Special issue 08. - ISSN 1751-7311 - p. 1361 - 1372.
land-use - trade-offs - agricultural land - rural landscapes - nature conservation - indigenous cattle - plant-communities - protected areas - carbon storage - economic value
The concept of ‘Ecosystem Services’ (ES) focuses on the linkages between ecosystems, including agroecosystems, and human well-being, referring to all the benefits, direct and indirect, that people obtain from ecosystems. In this paper, we review the application of the ES framework to pasture-based livestock farming systems, which allows (1) regulating, supporting and cultural ES to be integrated at the same level with provisioning ES, and (2) the multiple trade-offs and synergies that exist among ES to be considered. Research on livestock farming has focused mostly on provisioning ES (meat, milk and fibre production), despite the fact that provisioning ES strongly depends on regulating and supporting ES for their existence. We first present an inventory of the non-provisioning ES (regulating, supporting and cultural) provided by pasture-based livestock systems in Europe. Next, we review the trade-offs between provisioning and non-provisioning ES at multiple scales and present an overview of the methodologies for assessing biophysical trade-offs. Third, we present non-biophysical (economical and socio-cultural) methodologies and applications for ES valuation. We conclude with some recommendations for policy design.
Assessing vegetation change using vegetation-plot databases: a risky business
Chytry, M. ; Tichý, L. ; Hennekens, S.M. ; Schaminee, J.H.J. - \ 2014
Applied Vegetation Science 17 (2014)1. - ISSN 1402-2001 - p. 32 - 41.
long-term changes - plant-communities - phytosociological databases - species richness - grassland - forests - netherlands - drivers - decades - index
Aim Data from vegetation plots can be used for the assessment of past vegetation change in three ways: (1) comparison of old and new records from permanent plots established for vegetation monitoring; (2) revisiting historical phytosociological plots and subsequent comparison of old and new records; (3) comparison of large sets of old and new phytosociological records from the same area but different plots. Option (3) would be the cheapest in regions where large vegetation-plot databases are available, but there is a risk of incorrect results due to a spatial mismatch of old and new plots. Here we assess the accuracy of such analyses. Methods We used three data sets of permanent plots from Czech mountain bogs and Dutch oak forests and heathlands to quantify vegetation change. We selected subsets to simulate analyses based on (1) data from permanent plots or revisited phytosociological plots, i.e. containing old and new records from the same plots, (2) vegetation-plot databases with old and new records from different, randomly selected sites, and (3) vegetation-plot databases with old and new records from different but close sites. We repeated each subset selection 1000 times and analysed vegetation change in each of the three data sets and each variant of subset selection using permutational multivariate analysis of variance. Results For data sets with no actual vegetation change, analyses of some subsets simulating vegetation-plot databases incorrectly suggested significant changes. For a data set with real change, a change was detected in analyses of simulated vegetation-plot databases, but in several cases it had a different direction or magnitude to the real change. Conclusions The assessment of vegetation change using vegetation-plot databases should be either avoided or interpreted with extreme caution because of the risk of incorrect results. Analyses such as these may be used to propose hypotheses about past vegetation change, but their results should not be considered valid unless confirmed using more reliable data. In many contexts, re-visitation studies of historical phytosociological plots may be the best strategy to assess past vegetation change, while new networks of carefully stratified permanent plots are preferable for monitoring future change.
Nitrogen Addition and Warming Independently Influence the Belowground Micro-Food Web in a Temperate Steppe
Li, Q. ; Bai, H. ; Liang, W. ; Xia, J. ; Wan, S. ; Putten, W.H. van der - \ 2013
PLoS ONE 8 (2013)3. - ISSN 1932-6203
climate-change manipulations - species composition - community structure - plant-communities - organic-matter - northern china - soil nematodes - global change - elevated co2 - deposition
Climate warming and atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition are known to influence ecosystem structure and functioning. However, our understanding of the interactive effect of these global changes on ecosystem functioning is relatively limited, especially when it concerns the responses of soils and soil organisms. We conducted a field experiment to study the interactive effects of warming and N addition on soil food web. The experiment was established in 2006 in a temperate steppe in northern China. After three to four years (2009–2010), we found that N addition positively affected microbial biomass and negatively influenced trophic group and ecological indices of soil nematodes. However, the warming effects were less obvious, only fungal PLFA showed a decreasing trend under warming. Interestingly, the influence of N addition did not depend on warming. Structural equation modeling analysis suggested that the direct pathway between N addition and soil food web components were more important than the indirect connections through alterations in soil abiotic characters or plant growth. Nitrogen enrichment also affected the soil nematode community indirectly through changes in soil pH and PLFA. We conclude that experimental warming influenced soil food web components of the temperate steppe less than N addition, and there was little influence of warming on N addition effects under these experimental conditions.
Ecological intensification: harnessing ecosystem services for food security
Bommarco, R. ; Kleijn, D. ; Potts, S.G. - \ 2013
Trends in Ecology and Evolution 28 (2013)4. - ISSN 0169-5347 - p. 230 - 238.
bee species responses - biological-control - agricultural intensification - natural enemies - landscape scale - biodiversity conservation - terrestrial ecosystems - biotic interactions - soil biodiversity - plant-communities
Rising demands for agricultural products will increase pressure to further intensify crop production, while negative environmental impacts have to be minimized. Ecological intensification entails the environmentally friendly replacement of anthropogenic inputs and/or enhancement of crop productivity, by including regulating and supporting ecosystem services management in agricultural practices. Effective ecological intensification requires an understanding of the relations between land use at different scales and the community composition of ecosystem service-providing organisms above and below ground, and the flow, stability, contribution to yield, and management costs of the multiple services delivered by these organisms. Research efforts and investments are particularly needed to reduce existing yield gaps by integrating context-appropriate bundles of ecosystem services into crop production systems
Persistent versus transient tree encroachment of temperate peat bogs: effects of climate warming and drought events
Heijmans, M.M.P.D. ; Knaap, Y.A.M. ; Holmgren, M. ; Limpens, J. - \ 2013
Global Change Biology 19 (2013)7. - ISSN 1354-1013 - p. 2240 - 2250.
raised bog - vegetation composition - plant-communities - ombrotrophic bogs - vascular plants - boreal mire - scots pine - sphagnum - ecosystems - responses
Peatlands store approximately 30% of global soil carbon, most in moss-dominated bogs. Future climatic changes, such as changes in precipitation patterns and warming, are expected to affect peat bog vegetation composition and thereby its long-term carbon sequestration capacity. Theoretical work suggests that an episode of rapid environmental change is more likely to trigger transitions to alternative ecosystem states than a gradual, but equally large, change in conditions. We used a dynamic vegetation model to explore the impacts of drought events and increased temperature on vegetation composition of temperate peat bogs. We analyzed the consequences of six patterns of summer drought events combined with five temperature scenarios to test whether an open peat bog dominated by moss (Sphagnum) could shift to a tree-dominated state. Unexpectedly, neither a gradual decrease in the amount of summer precipitation nor the occurrence of a number of extremely dry summers in a row could shift the moss-dominated peat bog permanently into a tree-dominated peat bog. The increase in tree biomass during drought events was unable to trigger positive feedbacks that keep the ecosystem in a tree-dominated state after a return to previous ‘normal’ rainfall conditions. In contrast, temperature increases from 1 °C onward already shifted peat bogs into tree-dominated ecosystems. In our simulations, drought events facilitated tree establishment, but temperature determined how much tree biomass could develop. Our results suggest that under current climatic conditions, peat bog vegetation is rather resilient to drought events, but very sensitive to temperature increases, indicating that future warming is likely to trigger persistent vegetation shifts. Keywords: alternative states, climate change, ecosystem model, extreme events, peatlands, pulse, rainfall, Sphagnum, temperature increase, vegetation shift
On the delineation of tropical vegetation types with an emphasis on forest/savanna transitions
Torello-Raventos, M. ; Feldpausch, T.R. ; Veenendaal, E.M. ; Sykora, K.V. - \ 2013
Plant Ecology & Diversity 6 (2013)1. - ISSN 1755-0874 - p. 101 - 137.
plant-communities - rain-forest - land-cover - african vegetation - physiognomic classification - ecological classification - cerrado vegetation - savanna vegetation - brazilian cerrado - climate-change
Background: There is no generally agreed classification scheme for the many different vegetation formation types occurring in the tropics. This hinders cross-continental comparisons and causes confusion as words, such as ‘forest’ and ‘savanna’ have different meanings to different people. Tropical vegetation formations are therefore usually imprecisely and/or ambiguously defined in modelling, remote sensing and ecological studies. Aims: To integrate observed variations in tropical vegetation structure and floristic composition into a single classification scheme. Methods: Using structural and floristic measurements made on three continents, discrete tropical vegetation groupings were defined on the basis of overstorey and understorey structure and species compositions by using clustering techniques. Results: Twelve structural groupings were identified based on height and canopy cover of the dominant upper-stratum and the extent of lower-strata woody shrub cover and grass cover. Structural classifications did not, however, always agree with those based on floristic composition; especially for plots located in the forest-savanna transition zone. This duality is incorporated into a new tropical vegetation classification scheme. Conclusions: Both floristics and stand structure are important criteria for the meaningful delineation of tropical vegetation formations, especially in the forest/savanna transition zone. A new tropical vegetation classification scheme incorporating this information has been developed.
Selecting traits that explain species–environment relationships: a generalized linear mixed model approach
Jamil, T. ; Ozinga, W.A. ; Kleyer, M. ; Braak, C.J.F. ter - \ 2013
Journal of Vegetation Science 24 (2013)6. - ISSN 1100-9233 - p. 988 - 1000.
plant-communities - 4th-corner problem - functional diversity - logistic-regression - resource selection - habitat templet - distributions - dispersal - gradients - ecology
Question: Quantification of the effect of species traits on the assembly of communities is challenging from a statistical point of view. A key question is how species occurrence and abundance can be explained by the traits values of the species and the environmental values at the sites. Methods: Using a sites x species abundance table, a site x environment data table and a species x trait data table, we address this question by a novel Generalized linear mixed model (GLMM) approach. The GLMM overcomes the problem of pseudoreplication and heteroscedastic variance by including sites and species as random factors. The method is equally well applicable to presence-absence data as to count and multinomial data. We present a tiered forward selection approach for obtaining a parsimonious model and compare the results with the fourth corner method and RLQ ordination. Results: We illustrate the approach on a presence-absence version on two well-known data sets. In the Dune Meadow data species presence is parsimoniously explained by moisture and manure of the meadows in combination with seed mass and specific leaf area, respectively. In the Grazed Grassland data species presence is parsimoniously explained by the grazing intensity and soil phosphorous in combination with the C:N ratio and flowering mode, respectively. Conclusions: Our GLMM approach can be used to identify which species traits and environmental variables best explain the species distribution, and which traits are significantly correlated with environmental variables. The method is better suited for providing an interpretable and predictive model than the fourth corner method and RLQ.
Disparate relatives: Life histories vary more in genera occupying intermediate environments
Hermant, M. ; Hennion, F. ; Bartish, I.V. ; Yguel, B. ; Prinzing, A. - \ 2012
Perspectives in plant ecology, evolution and systematics 14 (2012)4. - ISSN 1433-8319 - p. 283 - 301.
ellenberg indicator values - species diversification - functional diversity - biotic interactions - distribution models - community ecology - plant-communities - climate-change - body-size - trait
Species within clades are commonly assumed to share similar life history traits, but within a given region some clades show much greater variability in traits than others. Are variable clades older, allowing more time for trait diversification? Or do they occupy particular environments, providing a wider range of abiotic or biotic opportunities for the establishment and maintenance of diverse trait attributes? Does environmental opportunity increase trait variability across all species, or is it specific to species belonging to the same clade, increasing only within-clade trait variability? We studied the variability of six life-history traits (initiation of flowering, duration of flowering, plant life span, seed mass, stress tolerance, type of reproduction) within 383 angiosperm genera from Central Europe distributed along six abiotic gradients. We compared patterns of within-genus variability to those present in the entire dataset, independent of genus membership. We found that trait variability differed strongly between genera, but did not depend on their age. Trait variability was higher within genera occupying intermediate positions along regional abiotic environmental gradients, compared with patterns across the entire dataset (and unbiased by geographical sampling, family membership or species richness). Increasing trait variability within genera reflected increasing independence of traits from the abiotic environment. We conclude that intermediate abiotic environments play an important role in maintaining and possibly generating the striking diversity of life history traits present within certain clades. They may do so by relaxing the abiotic constraints on the evolution and maintenance of species traits within clades.
Long-term effects of scrub clearance and litter removal on the re-establishment of dry alvar grassland species
Bakker, J.P. ; Rosén, E. ; Ozinga, W.A. ; Bretfeld, M. ; Feldt, T. ; Stahl, J. - \ 2012
Annales Botanici Fennici 49 (2012)1-2. - ISSN 0003-3847 - p. 21 - 30.
northwest european flora - life-history traits - chalk grassland - seedling recruitment - limestone grassland - plant-communities - bryophyte layer - establishment - dispersal - emergence
Many characteristic dry alvar grassland species disappear after cessation of livestock grazing as a result of encroachment by Juniperus communis. We studied the re-establishment of these species after scrub clearance with and without the removal of the layer of litter and mosses in long-term (14 years) permanent plots. Most of the species belonging to the community species pool of dry alvar grassland species before clearance were found in permanent plots between 2 and 14 years after the clearance. A large part originated from vegetative spread of already occurring species in the established vegetation in the surroundings. Only a small part of the long-term persistent soil seed bank resulted in the re-establishment of alvar species. There was no significant difference in the traits soil seed bank, seed weight and long-distance dispersal by wind, dung or fur of animals of established and non-established species. Removal of litter and mosses positively affected the re-establishment of alvar species
Functional diversity changes during tropical forest succession.
Lohbeck, M.W.M. ; Poorter, L. ; Paz, H. ; Breugel, M. van; Martinez-Ramos, M. ; Bongers, F. - \ 2012
Perspectives in plant ecology, evolution and systematics 14 (2012)2. - ISSN 1433-8319 - p. 89 - 96.
intermediate disturbance hypothesis - ecosystem processes - plant-communities - secondary succession - response diversity - assembly rules - rain-forests - traits - biodiversity - redundancy
Functional diversity (FD) ‘those components of biodiversity that influence how an ecosystem operates or functions’ is a promising tool to assess the effect of biodiversity loss on ecosystem functioning. FD has received ample theoretical attention, but empirical studies are limited. We evaluate changes in species richness and FD during tropical secondary forest succession after shifting cultivation in Mexico. We also test whether species richness is a good predictor of FD. FD was calculated based on a combination of nine functional traits, and based on two individual traits important for primary production (specific leaf area) and carbon sequestration (wood density). Stand basal area was a good predictor of successional changes in diversity and FD, in contrast to fallow age. Incidence-based FD indices increased logarithmically with stand basal area, but FD weighted by species’ importance values lacked pattern with succession. Species richness and diversity are strong predictors of FD when all traits were considered; linear relationships indicate that all species are equally functionally complementary, suggesting there is little functional redundancy. In contrast, when FD was calculated for individual traits and weighted for abundances, species richness may underestimate FD.
Nucleated regeneration of semiarid sclerophyllous forests close to remnant vegetation
Fuentes-Castillo, T. ; Miranda, A. ; Rivera-Hutinel, A. ; Smith-Ramirez, C. ; Holmgren, M. - \ 2012
Forest Ecology and Management 274 (2012). - ISSN 0378-1127 - p. 38 - 47.
stress-gradient hypothesis - arid ecosystems - central chile - mediterranean vegetation - spatial autocorrelation - seedling establishment - positive interactions - tree establishment - plant-communities - atacama desert
Natural regeneration of mediterranean plant communities has proved difficult in all continents. In this paper we assess whether regeneration of sclerophyllous forests shows nucleated patterns indicative of a positive effect of vegetation remnants at the landscape level and compare the regeneration patterns between sites with distinctive climate conditions. We studied the spatial patterns of vegetation change during 52 years in central Chile using remotely-sensed images to test the predictions that (1) regeneration of sclerophyllous vegetation expands from patches of remnant vegetation; and (2) regeneration is more dependent on remnant vegetation in drier sites. Our results show that the regeneration of the sclerophyllous vegetation in central Chile is a slow process that may be possible under certain conditions. We found that the fraction of regenerated vegetation increases with the proximity to remnant sclerophyllous forest in an aggregated pattern. Especially in drier sites, vegetation remnants have a facilitative role on the regeneration of mediterranean-type ecosystems. These results have important implications for the management and conservation of these ecosystems
The spatial pattern of grasses in relation to tree effects in an arid savannah community: Inferring the relative importance of canopy and root effect
Xu, C. ; Liu, M.S. ; Zhang, M. ; Chen, B. ; Huang, Z. ; Uriankhai, T. ; Sheng, S. - \ 2011
Journal of Arid Environments 75 (2011)10. - ISSN 0140-1963 - p. 953 - 959.
below-ground competition - positive interactions - plant-communities - soil-water - facilitation - distributions - ecosystems - woody - productivity - understorey
Both aboveground and belowground processes play important roles in tree-grass interactions in savannas. Little consideration has been given to within-site heterogeneity in the strengths of co-occurring canopy and root effects of trees on grasses in savanna communities. Here, we attempted to correlate the spatial pattern of grass morphological traits with the strengths of canopy and root effects. The results from a spatial analysis suggested that the grass traits had lower variability within the operating domain of the root effect than within that of the canopy effect in sub-canopy areas; in contrast, the operating domain of the root effect presented higher variability of grass traits than that of the canopy effect in inter-canopy areas. Combined with root investigations on vertical distribution patterns, these results suggested that the root effect appeared to outweigh the canopy effect in the sub-canopy areas, where apparent vertical root separation between trees and grasses was shown; while the canopy effect could outweigh the root effect in the inter-canopy areas, where root separation was not observed. This study could provide correlative information on the relative importance of canopy and root effects, and has some useful implications on within-site heterogeneity in terms of aboveground and belowground components in savannas.
Die mitteleuropäischen Datenbanken im Global Index of Vegetation-Plot Databases (GIVD) = Central European databases in the Global Index of vegetation plot databases (GIVD)
Jansen, F. ; Dengler, J. ; Glockler, F. ; Schaminee, J.H.J. - \ 2011
Tuexenia 31 (2011)1. - ISSN 0722-494X - p. 351 - 367.
plant-communities - alien plants - habitats - system - cooccurrence - invasibility - netherlands - grasslands - dispersal - diversity
Der Global Index of Vegetation-Plot Databases (GIVD) ist eine Metadatenbank von Vegetations - datenbanken weltweit, die im Jahr 2010 von einem internationalen Leitungsgremium ins Leben gerufen wurde und auf einem Server in Greifswald beheimatet ist. Ziel von GIVD ist es, einen besseren Überblick über die zunehmende Zahl von Vegetationsdatenbanken zu geben und ihren Inhalt für übergreifende vegetationsökologische Analysen zu erschließen. Im vorliegenden Beitrag analysieren wir, welche Daten aus Mitteleuropa (incl. Benelux-Länder) in GIVD derzeit registriert sind. Am 20. März 2011 stammten 1,35 Millionen der insgesamt registrierten 2,45 Millionen Vegetationsaufnahmen aus den 12 betrachteten Ländern. Mit über 600.000 digital verfügbaren Vegetationsaufnahmen entsprechend einer Dichte von 18 km–2 sind die Niederlande weltweit führend The Global Index of Vegetation-Plot Databases (GIVD) is a metadatabase of vegetation databases worldwide that was initiated by an international Steering Committee in 2010 and that is hosted on a server in Greifswald. GIVD aims at providing a better overview on the growing number of vegetation-plot databases and increasing their accessibility for overarching analyses. In this article, we analyse which data from central Europe (including the Benelux countries) are available in GIVD. On 20 March 2011, 1.35 million of the total 2.45 million registered releves originated from one of the covered twelve countries. With more than 600,000 digitally available releves, corresponding to a density of 18 km(-2), the Netherlands are globally leading in this respect
Impacts of Land Abandonment on Vegetation: Successional Pathways in European Habitats
Prévosto, B. ; Kuiters, A.T. ; Bernhardt-Römermann, M. ; Dölle, M. ; Schmidt, W. ; Hoffmann, M. ; Uytvanck, J. Van; Bohner, A. ; Kreiner, D. ; Stadler, J. ; Klotz, S. ; Brandl, R. - \ 2011
Folia Geobotanica 46 (2011)4. - ISSN 1211-9520 - p. 303 - 325.
species richness - seminatural grasslands - plant-communities - old-fields - plot size - biodiversity - traits - disturbance - diversity - soil
Changes in traditional agricultural systems in Europe in recent decades have led to widespread abandonment and colonization of various habitats by shrubs and trees. We combined several vegetation databases to test whether patterns of changes in plant diversity after land abandonment in different habitats followed similar pathways. The impacts of land abandonment and subsequent woody colonization on vegetation composition and plant traits were studied in five semi-natural open habitats and two arable habitats in six regions of Europe. For each habitat, vegetation surveys were carried out in different stages of succession using either permanent or non-permanent plots. Consecutive stages of succession were defined on a physiognomic basis from initial open stages to late woody stages. Changes in vegetation composition, species richness, numbers of species on Red Lists, plant strategy types, Ellenberg indicator values of the vegetation, Grime CSR strategy types and seven ecological traits were assessed for each stage of the successional pathway. Abandonment of agro-pastoral land-use and subsequent woody colonization were associated with changes in floristic composition. Plant richness varied according to the different habitats and stages of succession, but semi-natural habitats differed from arable fields in several ecological traits and vegetation responses. Nevertheless, succession occurred along broadly predictable pathways. Vegetation in abandoned arable fields was characterized by a decreasing importance of R-strategists, annuals, seed plants with overwintering green leaves, insect-pollinated plants with hemi-rosette morphology and plants thriving in nutrient-rich conditions, but an increase in species considered as endangered according to the Red Lists. Conversely, changes in plant traits with succession within the initially-open semi-natural habitats showed an increase in plants thriving in nutrient-rich conditions, stress-tolerant plants and plants with sexual and vegetative reproduction, but a sharp decrease in protected species. In conclusion, our study showed a set of similarities in responses of the vegetation in plant traits after land abandonment, but we also highlighted differences between arable fields and semi-natural habitats, emphasizing the importance of land-use legacy.
The Global Index of Vegetation-Plot Databases 1 (GIVD): a new resource for vegetation science
Dengler, J. ; Jansen, F. ; Glockler, F. ; Schaminee, J.H.J. - \ 2011
Journal of Vegetation Science 22 (2011)4. - ISSN 1100-9233 - p. 582 - 597.
plant-communities - species richness - tropical forests - central-europe - environment relationships - scale dependence - ecological data - alien plants - rain-forest - base-line
Question: How many vegetation plot observations (relevés) are available in electronic databases, how are they geographically distributed, what are their properties and how might they be discovered and located for research and application? Location: Global. Methods: We compiled the Global Index of Vegetation-Plot Databases (GIVD;, an Internet resource aimed at registering metadata on existing vegetation databases. For inclusion, databases need to (i) contain temporally and spatially explicit species co-occurrence data and (ii) be accessible to the scientific public. This paper summarizes structure and data quality of databases registered in GIVD as of 30 December 2010. Results: On the given date, 132 databases containing more than 2.4 million non-overlapping plots had been registered in GIVD. The majority of these data were in European databases (83 databases, 1.6 million plots), whereas other continents were represented by substantially less (North America 15, Asia 13, Africa nine, South America seven, Australasia two, multi-continental three). The oldest plot observation was 1864, but most plots were recorded after 1970. Most plots reported vegetation on areas of 1 to 1000 m2; some also stored time-series and nested-plot data. Apart from geographic reference (required for inclusion), most frequent information was on altitude (71%), slope aspect and inclination (58%) and land use (38%), but rarely soil properties (
Functional traits determine trade-offs and niches in a tropical forest community
Sterck, F.J. ; Markesteijn, L. ; Schieving, F. ; Poorter, L. - \ 2011
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 108 (2011)51. - ISSN 0027-8424 - p. 20627 - 20632.
rain-forest - dry forest - habitat associations - species coexistence - plant-communities - amazonian forest - shade tolerance - neutral theory - leaf - light
question in community ecology. Whereas neutral theory assumes that species are adapted to common field conditions and coexist by chance, niche theory predicts that species are functionally different and coexist because they are specialized for different niches. We integrated biophysical principles into a mathematical plant model to determine whether and how functional plant traits and trade-offs may cause functional divergence and niche separation of tree species. We used this model to compare the carbon budget of saplings across 13 co-occurring dry-forest tree species along gradients of light and water availability. We found that species ranged in strategy, from acquisitive species with high carbon budgets at highest resource levels to more conservative species with high tolerances for both shade and drought. The crown leaf area index and nitrogen mass per leaf area drove the functional divergence along the simulated light gradient, which was consistent with observed species distributions along light gradients in the forest. Stomatal coordination to avoid low water potentials or hydraulic failure caused functional divergence along the simulated water gradient, but was not correlated to observed species distributions along the water gradient in the forest. The trait-based biophysical model thus explains how functional traits cause functional divergence across species and whether such divergence contributes to niche separation along resource gradients.
The ecological and evolutionary implications of merging different types of networks
Fontaine, C. ; Guimaraes, P.R. ; Kéfi, S. ; Loeuille, N. ; Memmott, J. ; Putten, W.H. van der; Veen, F.J. ; Thébault, E. - \ 2011
Ecology Letters 14 (2011)11. - ISSN 1461-023X - p. 1170 - 1181.
food-web structure - animal mutualistic networks - positive interactions - plant-communities - phylogenetic constraints - species extinctions - stability - pollination - coevolution - ecosystems
Interactions among species drive the ecological and evolutionary processes in ecological communities. These interactions are effectively key components of biodiversity. Studies that use a network approach to study the structure and dynamics of communities of interacting species have revealed many patterns and associated processes. Historically these studies were restricted to trophic interactions, although network approaches are now used to study a wide range of interactions, including for example the reproductive mutualisms. However, each interaction type remains studied largely in isolation from others. Merging the various interaction types within a single integrative framework is necessary if we want to further our understanding of the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of communities. Dividing the networks up is a methodological convenience as in the field the networks occur together in space and time and will be linked by shared species. Herein, we outline a conceptual framework for studying networks composed of more than one type of interaction, highlighting key questions and research areas that would benefit from their study
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