Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1016/j.actao.2012.08.002
Title (Primary) Long-term spatial pattern change in a semi-arid plant community: the role of climate and composition
Author Brooker, R.W.; Matesanz, S.; Valladares, F.; Klotz, S.
Journal Acta Oecologica-International Journal of Ecology
Year 2012
Department BZF
Volume 45
Page From 8
Page To 15
Language englisch
Keywords Spatial pattern; Facilitation; Competition; Steppe community; Long-term data; Climate

The spatial pattern of plant communities can be an indicator of the processes that regulate community structure and their interplay with environmental drivers such as climate. However, to exploit such indicators we need a fuller understanding of the links between spatial pattern and climate. We examined variation in spatial pattern of annuals/biennials and perennials in a range margin steppic plant community in Germany over 26 years. We assessed change in spatial pattern through time, and how this change was related to local variation in climate and community composition. We found increasing dissociation between annuals/biennials and perennials through time, and a response of spatial pattern to summer temperature and precipitation. These responses are associated with the occurrence of Centaurea stoebe, a species which establishes in the community mid-way through the recording period.

Our results indicate that in some circumstances spatial patterning of vegetation may not be directly linked to environmental severity, and that species turnover rather than changes in the interactions or abundance of species already in the community can influence the observed dynamics of vegetation spatial pattern. Thus, they support calls for a better understanding of the context-specificity of plant–plant interactions, their translation to spatial pattern, and their regulation by climate and other drivers such as species turnover.

Persistent UFZ Identifier
Brooker, R.W., Matesanz, S., Valladares, F., Klotz, S. (2012):
Long-term spatial pattern change in a semi-arid plant community: the role of climate and composition
Acta Oecol. - Int. J. Ecol. 45 , 8 - 15