Spatial dynamics of plant species in an agricultural landscape in the Netherlands

W. Geertsema

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20 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined the changes in distribution patterns of 13 herbaceous plant species from 1998 to 2000 in ditch banks along the edges of arable fields in the Netherlands. The objective was to test if spatial dynamics could be related to spatial isolation and disturbance of habitat and to the dispersal and seed bank characteristics of the species. Knowledge of these relations should be used to increase the effectivity of agri-environmental schemes aiming at an increase of botanical diversity. All species frequently colonized empty patches and populations in occupied patches frequently went extinct. Most colonization events occurred within 50 m of conspecific source patches in the preceding year, but colonization events in patches at distances more than 200 m from conspecific source patches were also observed. The colonization probabilities decreased with isolation distance. For nine species this relation was statistically significant, after correction for year and habitat. The extinction probabilities increased with isolation. For only four species this relation was statistically significant. Both colonization and extinction probabilities were more often statistically significant related to isolation for species with transient seed banks than species with persistent seed banks. Implications for management options aiming at survival of plant species in fragmented landscapes are discussed
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-247
JournalPlant Ecology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • seed dispersal
  • habitat
  • metapopulation
  • biodiversity
  • extinction
  • turnover
  • woodland
  • patterns
  • banks
  • wind

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