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Title (Primary) Temporal changes and spatial determinants of plant species diversity and genetic variation
Title (Secondary) Long-term ecological research: between theory and application
Author Baessler, C.; Klotz, S.; Durka, W.;
Publisher Müller, F.; Baessler, C.; Schubert, H.; Klotz, S.;
Year 2010
Department BZF;
Language englisch;
Keywords Agricultural landscapes; Landscape structure; Land-use change; Land-use intensity; Biodiversity trends; Vegetation mosaic; Landscape genetics
UFZ inventory Halle - Biozönose, Zentralbibliothek 00385503 10-1016
Abstract Intensification of agricultural land use during the last century, combined with an increasing level of agrochemicals, has resulted in a decline of both habitat diversity and quality and to simplification and homogenization of Central Europe landscapes. For three agricultural landscapes in Central Germany we investigated (1) the influence of historical and current land-use and landscape structure on plant species diversity patterns in semi-natural habitats as well as on arable fields and (2) the extent to which genetic variation within populations (H e) of the common forest herb Geum urbanum is related to population properties and to present landscape structure. Historical and present floristic field data were analysed in relation to land-use and landscape structure characteristics of the same periods (1950s, 1970s and 2000/2002). Changes in plant species richness and composition during the past 50 years varied among landscapes according to their land-use history and environmental characteristics, but were mostly in favour of ruderal species. Plant species richness for semi-natural habitats was negatively affected by increases in mean patch size of meadows and by increases in phosphorus application. Moreover, the application of mineral fertilizer, especially phosphorus, led to many habitat specialists being replaced by generalist species. Species richness of 'arable weeds' was significantly affected at both landscape and regional level by the proportion of semi-natural habitats, habitat diversity and habitat isolation due to landscape homogenization. More intensive land use, and particularly increased nitrogen application, was associated with decreased richness of 'arable weeds'. The landscape genetic approach was extended to the same three landscapes and thus landscape-specific patterns could be disentangled from general relationships consistent across landscapes. Genetic variation of 70 populations was determined at eight microsatellite loci. Landscape structure was assessed in circular areas around populations and related to genetic variation within populations (H e) by linear mixed-effects models. H e was affected in an inverse manner by the size of Geum populations, by average patch size, by land-use diversity, by the area of woody habitat and by the area of roads. The study underlines the importance of habitat area and isolation as factors affecting genetic diversity, with both factors varying in a landscape-specific way. These results suggest that regional and historical processes, as well as local environmental factors, influence local plant community and population structure. Therefore, long-term studies are of high importance to understand ecological processes. We conclude that for conserving biodiversity in agricultural landscapes it is as important to protect existing, historically developed habitat diversity as the protection of habitat quality.
ID 9768
Persistent UFZ Identifier https://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=20939&ufzPublicationIdentifier=9768
Baessler, C., Klotz, S., Durka, W. (2010):
Temporal changes and spatial determinants of plant species diversity and genetic variation
In: Müller, F., Baessler, C., Schubert, H., Klotz, S. (eds.)
Long-term ecological research: between theory and application
Springer, Dordrecht, p. 279 - 297