Impact of mid-successional dominant species on the diversity and progress of succession in regenerating temperate grasslands

S. Bartha, Szilárd Szentes, András Horváth, Judit Házi, Zita Zimmermann, Csaba Molnár, István Dancza, Katalin Margóczi, Róbert W. Pál, Dragica Purger, Dávid Schmidt, Miklós Óvári, Cecília Komoly, Zsuzsanna Sutyinszki, Gábor Szabó, András István Csathó, Melinda Juhász, Károly Penksza, Zsolt Molnár

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Questions: (i) Which species dominate mid-successional old-fields in Hungary? How does the identity of these species relate to local (patch-scale) diversity and to the progress of succession? (ii) Which species have the strongest negative impact on diversity in spontaneous old-field succession and what generalizations are possible about traits of these species? (iii) Are these species dominant or subordinate components in mature target communities? (iv) Do native or alien species have stronger effects on the diversity and progress of succession? Location: Abandoned agricultural fields (abandoned croplands, orchards and vineyards) at various locations throughout Hungary. Methods: Vegetation patterns on 112 old-fields, in 25 sites varying in soil and climatic conditions, topography, landscape contexts and land-use histories were sampled. Most old-fields had appropriate seed sources in the immediate vicinity, i.e. natural or semi-natural grasslands (meadows steppes, closed and open sand steppes) as source and target habitats. Age of abandoned fields ranged from 1 to 69 yr, but most sites were between 15 and 60 yr. The cover of vascular plant species (%) was estimated in 2 × 2-m plots. Relationships between diversity, progress of succession (similarity to target communities) and identity of dominants were tested. Results: A small portion of successional dominants (eight species) had strong negative impacts on diversity. These species belonged to Poaceae, Asteraceae and Fabaceae. Most of these species were wind-pollinated, and capable of lateral vegetative spread. Dominant species varied in size and had, on average, a low requirement for N but a high requirement for light. With one exception, Solidago gigantea, they were native to the Hungarian flora. Significant differences were found among the impact of successional dominants when dominant species were grouped according to their original role (dominants or subordinates) in natural communities. The overall effect of species identity was also significant. Bothriochloa ischaemum was identified as the species with the strongest negative effect on species diversity. Conclusions: Our results suggest that mid-successional dominant species differ in their impact on diversity and progress of succession. Mid-successional plots dominated by alien species, or by native species that were originally subordinate in natural communities, regenerate less successfully and may temporarily arrest succession. Therefore, early colonization of native dominants should be enhanced with restoration measures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-213
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Vegetation Science
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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grassland
old field
introduced species
steppe
native species
vineyard
vascular plant
orchard
meadow
species diversity
flora
colonization
topography
seed
land use
sand
vegetation
habitat
history

Keywords

  • Biotic filters
  • Community assembly
  • Old-field succession
  • Plant traits
  • Regional survey
  • Restoration
  • Species diversity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Ecology

Cite this

Impact of mid-successional dominant species on the diversity and progress of succession in regenerating temperate grasslands. / Bartha, S.; Szentes, Szilárd; Horváth, András; Házi, Judit; Zimmermann, Zita; Molnár, Csaba; Dancza, István; Margóczi, Katalin; Pál, Róbert W.; Purger, Dragica; Schmidt, Dávid; Óvári, Miklós; Komoly, Cecília; Sutyinszki, Zsuzsanna; Szabó, Gábor; Csathó, András István; Juhász, Melinda; Penksza, Károly; Molnár, Zsolt.

In: Applied Vegetation Science, Vol. 17, No. 2, 2014, p. 201-213.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bartha, S, Szentes, S, Horváth, A, Házi, J, Zimmermann, Z, Molnár, C, Dancza, I, Margóczi, K, Pál, RW, Purger, D, Schmidt, D, Óvári, M, Komoly, C, Sutyinszki, Z, Szabó, G, Csathó, AI, Juhász, M, Penksza, K & Molnár, Z 2014, 'Impact of mid-successional dominant species on the diversity and progress of succession in regenerating temperate grasslands', Applied Vegetation Science, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 201-213. https://doi.org/10.1111/avsc.12066
Bartha, S. ; Szentes, Szilárd ; Horváth, András ; Házi, Judit ; Zimmermann, Zita ; Molnár, Csaba ; Dancza, István ; Margóczi, Katalin ; Pál, Róbert W. ; Purger, Dragica ; Schmidt, Dávid ; Óvári, Miklós ; Komoly, Cecília ; Sutyinszki, Zsuzsanna ; Szabó, Gábor ; Csathó, András István ; Juhász, Melinda ; Penksza, Károly ; Molnár, Zsolt. / Impact of mid-successional dominant species on the diversity and progress of succession in regenerating temperate grasslands. In: Applied Vegetation Science. 2014 ; Vol. 17, No. 2. pp. 201-213.
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abstract = "Questions: (i) Which species dominate mid-successional old-fields in Hungary? How does the identity of these species relate to local (patch-scale) diversity and to the progress of succession? (ii) Which species have the strongest negative impact on diversity in spontaneous old-field succession and what generalizations are possible about traits of these species? (iii) Are these species dominant or subordinate components in mature target communities? (iv) Do native or alien species have stronger effects on the diversity and progress of succession? Location: Abandoned agricultural fields (abandoned croplands, orchards and vineyards) at various locations throughout Hungary. Methods: Vegetation patterns on 112 old-fields, in 25 sites varying in soil and climatic conditions, topography, landscape contexts and land-use histories were sampled. Most old-fields had appropriate seed sources in the immediate vicinity, i.e. natural or semi-natural grasslands (meadows steppes, closed and open sand steppes) as source and target habitats. Age of abandoned fields ranged from 1 to 69 yr, but most sites were between 15 and 60 yr. The cover of vascular plant species ({\%}) was estimated in 2 × 2-m plots. Relationships between diversity, progress of succession (similarity to target communities) and identity of dominants were tested. Results: A small portion of successional dominants (eight species) had strong negative impacts on diversity. These species belonged to Poaceae, Asteraceae and Fabaceae. Most of these species were wind-pollinated, and capable of lateral vegetative spread. Dominant species varied in size and had, on average, a low requirement for N but a high requirement for light. With one exception, Solidago gigantea, they were native to the Hungarian flora. Significant differences were found among the impact of successional dominants when dominant species were grouped according to their original role (dominants or subordinates) in natural communities. The overall effect of species identity was also significant. Bothriochloa ischaemum was identified as the species with the strongest negative effect on species diversity. Conclusions: Our results suggest that mid-successional dominant species differ in their impact on diversity and progress of succession. Mid-successional plots dominated by alien species, or by native species that were originally subordinate in natural communities, regenerate less successfully and may temporarily arrest succession. Therefore, early colonization of native dominants should be enhanced with restoration measures.",
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T1 - Impact of mid-successional dominant species on the diversity and progress of succession in regenerating temperate grasslands

AU - Bartha, S.

AU - Szentes, Szilárd

AU - Horváth, András

AU - Házi, Judit

AU - Zimmermann, Zita

AU - Molnár, Csaba

AU - Dancza, István

AU - Margóczi, Katalin

AU - Pál, Róbert W.

AU - Purger, Dragica

AU - Schmidt, Dávid

AU - Óvári, Miklós

AU - Komoly, Cecília

AU - Sutyinszki, Zsuzsanna

AU - Szabó, Gábor

AU - Csathó, András István

AU - Juhász, Melinda

AU - Penksza, Károly

AU - Molnár, Zsolt

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - Questions: (i) Which species dominate mid-successional old-fields in Hungary? How does the identity of these species relate to local (patch-scale) diversity and to the progress of succession? (ii) Which species have the strongest negative impact on diversity in spontaneous old-field succession and what generalizations are possible about traits of these species? (iii) Are these species dominant or subordinate components in mature target communities? (iv) Do native or alien species have stronger effects on the diversity and progress of succession? Location: Abandoned agricultural fields (abandoned croplands, orchards and vineyards) at various locations throughout Hungary. Methods: Vegetation patterns on 112 old-fields, in 25 sites varying in soil and climatic conditions, topography, landscape contexts and land-use histories were sampled. Most old-fields had appropriate seed sources in the immediate vicinity, i.e. natural or semi-natural grasslands (meadows steppes, closed and open sand steppes) as source and target habitats. Age of abandoned fields ranged from 1 to 69 yr, but most sites were between 15 and 60 yr. The cover of vascular plant species (%) was estimated in 2 × 2-m plots. Relationships between diversity, progress of succession (similarity to target communities) and identity of dominants were tested. Results: A small portion of successional dominants (eight species) had strong negative impacts on diversity. These species belonged to Poaceae, Asteraceae and Fabaceae. Most of these species were wind-pollinated, and capable of lateral vegetative spread. Dominant species varied in size and had, on average, a low requirement for N but a high requirement for light. With one exception, Solidago gigantea, they were native to the Hungarian flora. Significant differences were found among the impact of successional dominants when dominant species were grouped according to their original role (dominants or subordinates) in natural communities. The overall effect of species identity was also significant. Bothriochloa ischaemum was identified as the species with the strongest negative effect on species diversity. Conclusions: Our results suggest that mid-successional dominant species differ in their impact on diversity and progress of succession. Mid-successional plots dominated by alien species, or by native species that were originally subordinate in natural communities, regenerate less successfully and may temporarily arrest succession. Therefore, early colonization of native dominants should be enhanced with restoration measures.

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KW - Biotic filters

KW - Community assembly

KW - Old-field succession

KW - Plant traits

KW - Regional survey

KW - Restoration

KW - Species diversity

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