||Interactive effects of landscape history and current management on dispersal trait diversity in grassland plant communities
||Purschke, O.; Sykes, M.T.; Poschlod, P.; Michalski, S.G.; Römermann, C.; Durka, W.
; Kühn, I.
; Prentice, H.C.
|Journal / Serie
||Journal of Ecology
||community assembly; determinants of plant community diversity and structure; functional divergence; functional richness; historical anthropogenic impacts; landscape fragmentation; persistence; phylogenetic autocorrelation; seminatural grasslands; spatial autocorrelation
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
- 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.
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.
|Purschke, O., Sykes, M.T., Poschlod, P., Michalski, S.G., Römermann, C., Durka, W., Kühn, I., Prentice, H.C. (2014):
Interactive effects of landscape history and current management on dispersal trait diversity in grassland plant communities
J. Ecol. 102 (2), 437 - 446