Local above-ground persistence of vascular plants: life-history trade-offs and environmental constraints

W.A. Ozinga, S.M. Hennekens, J.H.J. Schaminée, N.A.C. Smits, R.M. Bekker, C. Römermann, J.P. Bakker, J.M. van Groenendael

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Questions: 1. Which plant traits and habitat characteristics best explain local above-ground persistence of vascular plant species and 2. Is there a trade-off between local above-ground persistence and the ability for seed dispersal and below-ground persistence in the soil seed bank? Locations: 845 long-term permanent plots in terrestrial habitats across the Netherlands. Methods: We analysed the local above-ground persistence of vascular plants in permanent plots (monitored once a year for ca. 16 year) with respect to functional traits and habitat preferences using survival statistics (Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox' regression). These methods account for censored data and are rarely used in vegetation ecology. Results: Local above-ground persistence is determined by both functional traits (especially the ability to form long-lived clonal connections) and habitat preferences (especially nutrient requirements). Above-ground persistence is negatively related to the ability for dispersal by wind and to the ability to accumulate a long-term persistent soil seed bank (`dispersal through time¿) and is positively related to the ability for dispersal by water. Conclusions: Most species have a half-life expectation over 15 years, which may contribute to time lags after changes in habitat quality or -configuration (`extinction debt¿). There is evidence for a trade-off relationship between local above-ground persistence and below-ground seed persistence, while the relationship with dispersal in space is vector specific. The rate of species turnover increases with productivity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-497
JournalJournal of Vegetation Science
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Keywords

  • relative growth-rate
  • distance seed dispersal
  • park grass experiment
  • species coexistence
  • extinction debt
  • wind dispersal
  • size
  • communities
  • competition
  • dynamics

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