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Publication type: Article in scientific journal
Type of review: Peer review (publication)
Title: Vegetation change in meso-xeric grasslands of the Swiss Jura Mts. over 40 years
Authors: Charmillot, Kévin
Hedinger, Christian
Babbi, Manuel
Widmer, Stefan
Dengler, Jürgen
et. al: No
DOI: 10.21256/zhaw-23430
Published in: Tuexenia
Volume(Issue): 41
Page(s): 441
Pages to: 457
Issue Date: 31-Oct-2021
Publisher / Ed. Institution: Floristisch-Soziologische Arbeitsgemeinschaft
ISSN: 0722-494X
Language: English
Subject (DDC): 333.7: Land, natural recreational areas
580: Plants (Botany)
Abstract: Meso-xeric grasslands have declined sharply in Central Europe during the last century. These spe-cies-rich habitats are threatened by intensification or abandonment of agricultural use, eutrophication, climate change and landscape fragmentation. However, different studies in various regions of Central Europe are inconsistent in their findings about degree and direction of changes. We thus resurveyed the historical vegetation plots of the alliance Mesobromionin the Swiss Jura Mts. In 2020, we re-sampled 28 quasi-permanent vegetation plots originally recorded in 1980 to quantify potential vegetation change. Frequency of individual species, species diversity, 11 ecological indicator values and four functional traits, as well as the presence of diagnostic species of phytosociological alliances, were analysed. Further, a habitat classification and detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) were also performed. Species richness, indicator values for light availability and temperature, seed dispersal by animals and seed persistence had significantly decreased by 2020. Conversely, ecological indicator values for nutrient availability and soil moisture as well as community-weighted means for seed mass and canopy height had significantly increased. There were significantly fewer ruderal species, stress-tolerators, therophytes and herbaceous chamaephytes in 2020. In contrast, highly competitive species and hemicryptophytes had increased. Together, these findings indicate an increase in productivity over time. There were fewer specialized species in 2020 than in 1980, indicating a homogenization of the vegetation and a shift towards nutrient-rich pastures and meadows. The shift towards a later succession-al stage might indicate reduced grazing disturbance. Most of these sites are currently not included in an agri-environmental scheme. Partial differences of our findings from those reported elsewhere in Central Europe highlight the importance of regionally adapted conservation strategies in order to stop biodiver-sity loss in meso-xeric grasslands.
Fulltext version: Published version
License (according to publishing contract): Licence according to publishing contract
Departement: Life Sciences and Facility Management
Organisational Unit: Institute of Natural Resource Sciences (IUNR)
Appears in collections:Publikationen Life Sciences und Facility Management

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