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2014 | 62 | 2 |
Tytuł artykułu

The effect of neighbouring plant height, disturbance level and gap size on spontaneous recruitment of large-seeded and small-seeded species in Molinietum caeruleae meadows

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Języki publikacji
The seed size is considered as a key feature, which effects both: colonizing and competitive abilities of species. The disturbance dependent small-seeded taxa are regarded as superior colonists, whereas the large-seeded taxa are considered as best competitors able to survive the competition from adjacent plants and negative effect of litter. The impact of character of standing vegetation, disturbance level and size of gaps on spontaneous recruitment of seedlings of selected light-seeded species (Gentiana pneumonanthe L., Dianthus superbus L.) and heavy-seeded taxa (Serratula tinctoria L., Gladiolus imbricatus L.) were conducted. The investigations were carried out in two areas (A and B). Both of them were consisted of three adjacent patches of Molinietum caeruleae: dominated by small meadow species (labeled MC), prevailed by large-tussocks grasses (labeled GR), and overgrown by willows (labeled SA). In the year 2007, in all patches, ten permanent experimental plots were randomly arranged. In Area A, plots were divided in four square-shaped, neighboring subplots subjected to: no treatment; the removal of litter and moss layers; the removal of litter, bryophytes, and above-ground parts of plants; the removal of litter, moss and the plants, as well as top soil stripping. In the Area B, plots were divided into four subplots measuring from 0.16 m2 to 0.01 m2. In each of them the litter and above-ground part of plant biomass were clipped and removed. The recruitment of seedlings was monitored from 2007 through 2010. In both studied areas, regardless of seed mass, the greatest abundance of seedlings were found in patches MC, and decreased gradually in sites GR and SA. Irrespective of seed size, in subplots where plant cover and litter stayed intact no new genets was noted, moderate appearance of seedlings was observed in subplots without plant necromass, whereas the greatest number of generative progeny was found in subplots without necromass and aboveground parts of plants. The lower abundance of seedlings in subplots without litter, plants and topsoil might have been caused by depletion of seed bank reserves. Moreover, in all patches the number of seedlings of small- and large-seeded taxa increased significantly with augmentation of gap size. In light of performed studies it might be concluded, that the disturbances might play very important role in active protection of studied taxa. The positive impact of disruption diminishes with increasing of plant canopy height. The removal of plant cover and litter contributes to the greatest seedling recruitment but its beneficial effect diminishes with decreasing of opening size.
Opis fizyczny
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