Publication details

Which landscape and abiotic site factors influence vegetation succession across seres at a country scale?



Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Journal of Vegetation Science
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords abiotic factors; landscape context; species richness; succession; target species; vascular plants
Description Questions (1) How much do abiotic site factors and land-cover categories influence the course of succession across successional series at a country scale? (2) Are there any differences in the abiotic site factors and land-cover categories which are responsible for driving primary and secondary seres? (3) Which of the factors influence species richness and participation of target species? Location Various disturbed sites in the Czech Republic, Central Europe. Methods The Database of Successional Series (DaSS) was compiled of 21 different types of succession, comprising 2,846 phytosociological releves. The stages ranged from 1 to >150 years in age. Abiotic site factors included macroclimate characteristics and substrate; landscape factors comprised various land-cover categories in a radius of 1 km around each sampled site. Principal Coordinate Analysis of Neighbour Matrices (PCNM) was performed to quantify the effect of abiotic site factors and landscape factors on seral vegetation, also regarding the primary or secondary status of succession. The relationships between number of species, number and proportion of target species and abiotic site and landscape factors were further assessed using generalised linear model analysis. Results All considered abiotic and landscape factors were found to have significant effects on the course of succession. The effects of abiotic site factors appeared to be more important than those of the surrounding landscape structure. Species richness was higher on basic substrates. The proportion of target species increased with increasing woodland area in the surrounding and with a wetter and colder climate, and decreased with urbanisation rate of the landscape. Conclusion Not only local but landscape factors, such as climate and land cover, should be considered in any study of succession, as they substantially influence the general successional pattern. Quantification of the role of these environmental factors may help to decide where a spontaneous restoration is a viable option for the restoration of disturbed sites. The primary or secondary status of succession is less relevant than has usually been supposed.

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