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Interspecific competition among rich fen bryophytes
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution.
(English)Manuscript (Other academic)
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-97294OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-97294DiVA: diva2:172164
Available from: 2008-05-16 Created: 2008-05-16 Last updated: 2013-12-13
In thesis
1. Plant responses after drainage and restoration in rich fens
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Plant responses after drainage and restoration in rich fens
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Rich fens are an important, but threatened, habitat type in the boreal landscape. In this thesis I have examined responses of rich fen vascular plants and bryophytes after drainage and restoration.

The effects of drainage on the rich fen flora were observed in a long time study and the responses were rapid and drastic. During an initial stage a rapid loss of brown mosses was observed, followed by increases of sedges and early successional bryophytes, and later by an expansion of dominants. Initial effects of hydrological restoration showed that rewetting can promote re-establishment of an ecologically functional rich fen flora, but has to be combined with other treatments, such as mowing or surface disturbance.

After restoration, re-establishment of locally extinct species may be hampered by dispersal limitations. To test if reintroductions could help to overcome dispersal limitations I performed transplantation studies with four common rich fens bryophytes to a rewetted site. The results showed that the species were able to establish, and that survival and growth were promoted by desiccation protection and liming.

I further examined competition among three of the most common bryophytes in natural boreal rich fens that usually occur mixed in a mosaic pattern but show small but important microtopographical niche separation. The results indicate similar competitive abilities among the species, and no case of competitative exclusion occurred. The results help to explain the coexistence of these species under natural conditions with microtopographic variation and repeated small scale natural disturbances.

Restoring a functional flora in drained rich fens is a complex task, which requires understanding of underlying causes of substrate degradation in combination with suitable restoration measures. The thesis suggests how the results can be used in practical restoration work, and also stresses the need for monitoring of restoration experiments over longer time.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2008. 33 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 439
Ecology, brown mosses, bryophytes, colonization, competition, dispersal limitation, liming, mire, peatland, rewetting, wetland restoration, Ekologi
National Category
Evolutionary Biology Ecology
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-8882 (URN)978-91-554-7218-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-06-07, the Lecture hall, Dept. of Plant Ecology, Villavägen 14, Uppsala, 13:00
Available from: 2008-05-16 Created: 2008-05-16 Last updated: 2016-04-25Bibliographically approved

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