Plant community assembly in grazed grasslands
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Species assembly into local communities from the surrounding region can be caused either by species failure to reach the site (i.e. seed limitation) or to establish (i.e. establishment limitation). The aim of this thesis was to investigate plant species assembly and to determine the relative importance of different factors in that process.
In a cultivated landscape in southeast Sweden, plant community assembly was studied in grazed ex-arable fields. Community assembly from the surrounding region into the local community was explored using trait-based null models and seed sowing and transplanting experiments. The influence of local environmental factors and landscape history and structure on community assembly was also studied. In addition, differences in species assembly between ex-arable fields and semi-natural grasslands were explored.
Seed limitation was the strongest filter on local community assembly. Only a fraction (36%) of species in a region dispersed to a local site and adding seeds/transplants increased species establishment. Species abundance at the regional scale, species dispersal method and seed mass strongly influenced which species arrived at the local sites. Establishment limitation also affected the assembly. Of species arriving at a site 78% did establish, seedling survival was low and which species established was influenced by species interactions, local environmental conditions and stochastic events. In addition, landscape structure that determined the species richness in the regional species pool influenced the local assembly. The comparison between assembly in ex-arable fields and semi-natural grasslands indicated that the main cause of difference in species assembly between them was difference in their age.
The main conclusion of this thesis is that regional processes are more important than local factors in determining plant community assembly.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences, Stockholm University , 2014. , 44 p.
Assembly rules, dispersal limitation, environmental filtering, establishment limitation, ex-arable fields, functional traits, landscape history, semi-natural grasslands, seed bank, seed augmentation, seed rain, trait based filtering
Research subject Plant Ecology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102185ISBN: 978-91-7447-878-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-102185DiVA: diva2:708480
2014-05-09, Stora föreläsningssalen, Institutionen för ekologi, miljö och botanik, Lilla Frescativägen 5, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Pärtel, Meelis, Professor
Ove, Eriksson, ProfessorSara A. O., Cousins, ProfessorEhrlén, Johan, Professor
FunderSwedish Research Council
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Submitted. Paper 4: Submitted. Paper 5: Manuscript.2014-04-152014-03-272014-04-15Bibliographically approved
List of papers