Publication details

Participation of the Czech flora in succession at disturbed sites: quantifying species' colonization ability

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Year of publication 2017
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Preslia
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords colonization ability; Czech Republic; disturbances; succession; vascular plants; habitat types
Description The colonization of newly created sites by plants is determined by the characteristics of the species and their frequency in the surrounding landscape (mass effect). We used species frequencies from the Database of Successional Series of various disturbed sites across the Czech Republic (DaSS, 2817 phytosociological releves, 1013 species of vascular plants) to calculate two indices of species colonization ability. One index (index of colonization potential - ICP) was corrected using occurrence data in the Czech National Phytosociological Database (CNPD) and the other (index of colonization success - ICS) was used without correction. We also evaluated the participation of species in successional stages of different ages and assessed their maximum cover. Then we asked, species of which habitat types are the most successful in colonizing disturbed sites and how their participation changes over the course of succession. Species characteristic of the following habitat types were statistically over-represented in the successional series compared to in the CNPD: synanthropic habitats; cliffs, screes and walls; acidophilous grassland; dry grassland; and sandy grassland. Species characterizing particular types of habitat exhibited significant trends in their participation in different successional stages: those of dry grassland, heathland, scrub land and forest increased during succession whereas species of synanthropic acidophilous grassland, mesic grassland and wetland decreased. Species with high values of both indices are more likely to spread in landscapes continuously disturbed by human activity. Thus, these indices can help to predict future changes in vegetation in central-European landscapes and be used in ecological restoration projects.
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