Publication details

Update on maxima of fine-scale vascular plant species richness in a Transylvanian steppe meadow

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Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Tuexenia
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords grazing; permanent plot; plant diversity; Romania; species richness; steppe meadow; Transylvania; world record
Description We report new maxima of vascular plant species richness ever recorded in 10-m(2) plots (115 and 110 species in two adjacent plots). Both come from a steppe meadow at a well-known site Valea Lui Craiu, located in the Fematele Clujului grassland complex close to the city of Cluj in Transylvania, Romania, where maximum values have been observed before. We also coifed the previously published maximum of 106 species, which was recorded in a 10.9-m(2) plot due to erroneous plot delimitation. The new maxima, which were recorded by the same research team using the identical sampling methodology, likely reflect successional changes after the transformation of the site from a mown grassland to a medium-intensity sheep pasture. The increase in species richness is largely due to the increased number of ruderal species. We assume that the high species density may be temporary and might decrease over time along with the loss of species that suffer from grazing. We therefore permanently marked the plots belowground, enabling to monitor the effects of grazing on species richness and composition over a longer period.
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