Publication details

Patterns of plant traits in annual vegetation of man-made habitats in central Europe

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Year of publication 2006
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Ecology
Keywords Arable field; Disturbance; Phylogeny; Ruderal vegetation; Weeds
Description Man-made habitats in central Europe can be broadly divided into arable land with weed vegetation, and settlements and their surroundings, harbouring ruderal vegetation. The former is a predictable environment with frequent, regular and large-scale disturbances, while the latter is an unpredictable environment with irregular disturbances of varying spatial extent producing heterogeneous mosaics of different successional stages. We hypothesize that these differences in disturbance regimes select for different sets of biological and ecological plant traits in these two habitats. A data set of 2715 vegetation plots sampled in man-made habitats dominated by annual plants in the Czech Republic was combined with data on biological and ecological traits of vascular plants, mostly taken from the BiolFlor database. Differences due to temporal variation and location of plots in different climatic zones were partialled out using partial canonical correspondence analysis. Then the differences in traits of the plants growing on arable fields and in settlements were analysed using logistic and least-square regression models, both with and without phylogenetic correction. Plants growing on arable land were more often annuals, R-strategists, with overwintering green leaves, insect or self-pollinated, reproducing by seeds, with persistent seed banks and archaeophytes (i.e. those aliens that arrived prior to 1500). Plants growing in human settlements were more often biennials or perennials, C-strategists, wind-pollinated, flowering in mid summer, reproducing both by seeds and vegetatively, dispersed by wind or humans, neophytes (i.e. those aliens that arrived after 1500), species with high demands for light and nutrients and with more continental distribution ranges. Most associations between plant traits and habitats did not change after taking phylogenetic relationships into account. Traits strongly linked to phylogeny were especially modes of pollination and dispersal. By contrast, traits weakly linked to phylogeny included life strategy and alien status.
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