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  • 1.
    Backéus, Ingvar
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecological Botany.
    Distribution and vegetation dynamics of humid savannas in Africa and Asia1992In: Journal of Vegetation Science, ISSN 1100-9233, E-ISSN 1654-1103, Vol. 3, p. 345-356Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A review is presented on the literature about the distribution of savannas in humid climates in Africa and Asia and their vegetation dynamics. Sections are devoted to African lowland and montane savannas (the latter divided into southern, eastern, western and northern African), Madagascar, Indian subcontinent, SE Asia and New Guinea. It is concluded that the extension of savannas under humid climatic conditions and the relation to the distribution of forests is a function of cultivation, grazing by domestic and wild animals, present and previous climate, geomorphology and soil characteristics. Once established, savannas are often maintained by fires, both natural and man-made.

    Montane savannas are generally brought about by man's clearing, cultivation and burning. Fire is a stochastic variable; it creates an ecotone sensu stricto (an environmentally stochastic stress zone) at the forest/savanna border. On the other hand, if geomorphology and soil are the determinants, the transition between forest and savanna would have the character of an ecocline (a gradient zone) with fundamentally different conditions.

    In humid African lowland climates forests expand into savannas if the latter are not maintained by man. Whether forests also expand in less humid climates is disputed. In montane areas forest expansion may be delayed on degraded soils and when diaspores are lacking

  • 2.
    Backéus, Ingvar
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecological Botany.
    Rulangaranga, Z K
    University of Dar es Salaam.
    Skoglund, Jerry
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecological Botany.
    Vegetation changes on formerly overgrazed hill slopes in semi-arid central Tanzania1994In: Journal of Vegetation Science, ISSN 1100-9233, E-ISSN 1654-1103, Vol. 5, p. 327-336Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Composition of hill slope vegetation was studied in a semi-arid part of upland Tanzania where all grazing had been banned for 12 yr. The hills had been severely overgrazed previously and suffered from heavy gully and sheet erosion. Eight vegetation types are described. Floristic gradients revealed by numerical ordination techniques were found to be related mainly to degree of erosion, soil type and succession. The more or less bare soil that prevailed after grazing had ceased is now covered by grassland, woodland and immature secondary forest. The grasslands are still characterized by early successional species and they will probably remain open grassland as long as frequent burning continues. Brachystegia woodlands may have developed during earlier periods when the field layer was sparse due to grazing. The grazing had reduced the frequency of fire which in turn promoted the establishment of Brachystegia spp. Secondary forests are believed to have developed mainly where fires were not frequent, particularly at higher altitudes.

  • 3.
    Dai, Xiaobing
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Evolutionary Biology, Plant Ecology.
    Impact of cattle dung deposition on the distribution pattern of plant species in an alvar limestone grassland2000In: Journal of Vegetation Science, ISSN 1100-9233, E-ISSN 1654-1103, Vol. 11, no 5, p. 715-724Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Seed banks in cattle dung, soil under cattle dung and soil under vegetation and growth response of plant species to the changes in soil nitrogen availability were studied in an alvar limestone grassland on Öland, Sweden, in order to analyse the impact of dung deposition and decomposition on the formation of patches of plant species. Results suggest that patches of four plant species could result from cattle dung deposition and decomposition. Impact of dung could proceed in three ways: (1) by changing the relative abundance of species in the soil seed bank under dung, and/or (2) by influencing the deposition of seeds in the dung, and/or (3) by intensifying the growth of some species through nutrient release. Species patches could result from one or more of these aspects. For instance, patches of Arenaria serpyllifolia may be induced by dung deposition because of the dominance of its seeds in dung, while the pattern of Cerastium semidecandrum and Festuca ovina may be due to the abundance of their seeds in the soil seed bank under dung and their positive growth response to increased nitrogen availability.

  • 4. Dengler, Jürgen
    et al.
    Löbel, Swantje
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Ecological Botany.
    Dolnik, Christian
    Species constancy depends on plot size - a problem for vegetation classification and how it can be solved2009In: Journal of Vegetation Science, ISSN 1100-9233, E-ISSN 1654-1103, Vol. 20, no 4, p. 754-766Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Question   While it is well known that species richness depends on plot size, it  is not generally recognised that the same must be true for constancy. Accordingly, many authors use varying plot sizes when classifying   vegetation based on the comparison of constancies between groups of plots. We ask whether the constancy-area relationship follows a general   rule, how strong the effect of plot sizes is on constancies, and if it  is possible to correct constancies for area. Location For empirical evaluation, we use data from plant communities in the   Czech Republic, Sweden and Russia.   Methods   To assess the potential influence of differences in plot size on   constancies, we develop a mathematical model. Then, we use series of   nested plot species richness data from a wide range of community types   (herbaceous and forest) to determine the parameters of the derived   function and to test how much the shape of the constancy-area   relationship depends on taxa or vegetation types.   Results   Generally, the constancy-area relationship can be described by C   (A)=1-(1-C-0)((A/A0)boolean AND d), with C being constancy, A area, C-0   known constancy on a specific area A(0), and d a damping parameter   accounting for spatial autocorrelation. As predicted by this function,   constancies in plant communities always varied from values near 0% to   near 100% if plot sizes were changed sufficiently. For the studied   vegetation types, a two- to fourfold increase in plot size resulted in   a change of conventional constancy classes, i.e. an increase of   constancy by 20% or more.   Conclusions   Vegetation classification, which largely relies on constancy values,   irrespective of whether traditional or modern fidelity definitions are   used, is strongly prone to distorting scale effects when releves of   different plot sizes are combined in studies. The constancy-area   functions presented allow an approximate transformation of constancies   to other plot sizes but are flawed by idiosyncrasies in taxa and   vegetation types. Thus, we conclude that the best solution for future   surveys is to apply uniform plot sizes within a few a priori delimited   formations and to determine diagnostic species only within these   formations. Finally, we suggest that more detailed analyses of constancy-area relationships can contribute to a better understanding of species-area relationships because the latter are the summation of the first for all species.

  • 5.
    Grasset, Charlotte
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Limnology.
    Delolme, Cécile
    Arthaud, Florent
    Bornette, Gudrun
    Carbon allocation in aquatic plants with contrasting strategies: The role of habitat nutrient content2015In: Journal of Vegetation Science, ISSN 1100-9233, E-ISSN 1654-1103, Vol. 26, p. 946-955Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Questions: The link between the carbon composition of aquatic plants and (1) plant strategies and (2) habitat nutrient availability has received little attention. We tested whether three aquatic species belonging to the three adaptive strategies defined by Grime (ruderal, stress tolerant and competitive) had contrasting carbon allocation patterns, and if these patterns varied in the same way between populations distributed along a gradient of habitat nutrient content. Location: Wetlands in the northern Rhône River Basin, France. Methods: The three species were sampled in 17 wetlands along a gradient of nutrient content in the northern Rhône River Basin. In each population sampled, we measured plant water content, C/N ratio, structural compounds (lignin and structural polysaccharides) and storage compounds (free sugars and starch) in two seasons (spring and autumn 2012). Results: The stress-tolerant species had higher content of structural compounds than the competitive and ruderal species. The content of storage compounds was higher in the competitive and stress-tolerant species compared to the ruderal species. Allocation of carbon compounds varied with habitat nutrient content in different ways for the three species, suggesting contrasting plasticities, possibly linked to plant strategy. Conclusion: Plant strategies and habitat nutrient content are likely key drivers in plant carbon allocation and should be taken into account when studying interactions between habitat and plant quality.

  • 6.
    Gunnarsson, Urban
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Ecological Botany.
    Flodin, Lars-Åke
    Vegetation shifts towards wetter site conditions on oceanic ombrotrophic bogs in south-west Sweden2007In: Journal of Vegetation Science, ISSN 1100-9233, E-ISSN 1654-1103, Vol. 18, no 4, p. 595-604Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Question: Is ombrotrophic bog vegetation in an oceanic region of southwestern Sweden changing in the same direction over a five year period (1999 - 2004) as northwest European bogs in the last 50 years, i.e. towards drier and more eutrophic vegetation?

    Location: The province of Halland, southwestern Sweden.

    Methods: Changes in species composition were monitored in 750 permanently marked plots in 25 ombrotrophic bogs from 1999 to 2004. Changes in species occurrences and richness were analysed and a multivariate statistical method (DCA) was used to analyse vegetation changes.

    Results: The species composition changed towards wetter rather than drier conditions, which is unlike the general pattern of vegetation change on bogs in northwestern Europe. Species typical of wetter site conditions including most Sphagnum species increased in abundance on the bogs until 2004. The total number of species per plot increased, mostly due to the increased species richness of Sphagnum species. Nitrogen-demanding (eutrophic) species increased in occurrence.

    Conclusions: Ombrotrophic bog vegetation in an oceanic region in Sweden became wetter and was resilient to short-term climatic shifts, after three years of below normal precipitation followed by several years with normal precipitation levels. Shifts towards more nitrogen demanding species were rapid in this region where the deposition levels have been high for several decades.

  • 7.
    Gunnarsson, Urban
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Evolutionary Biology.
    Rydin, Håkan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Evolutionary Biology, Plant Ecology.
    Sjörs, Hugo
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Evolutionary Biology, Plant Ecology.
    Diversity and pH changes after 50 years on the boreal mire Skattlosbergs Stormosse, Central Sweden2000In: Journal of Vegetation Science, ISSN 1100-9233, E-ISSN 1654-1103, Vol. 11, no 2, p. 277-286Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Skattlosbergs Stormosse min was reinvestigated in 1995 after 50 years of natural development since the previous investigation. The undrained mire is situated in an area with low anthropogenic deposition. The distribution of 106 plant species was mapped in detail and pH was measured at 251 locations, providinga unique opportunity to quantify long-term mire dynamics. The resultss how decreased pH in the richer (high-pH) parts of the mire, but little or no change in the poor fen andombrotrophipca rts.1 4 species had disappeared while two news pecies were recorded. Most species had a more restricted distribution in the mire area in 1995 than in 1945. Species richness in lOm x 0Omp lots had decreased, especially in plots with higher pH. Most Sphagnum species had unchanged distributions over the mire, while 7 3 % of other bryophyt sepecies and 3 8% of vascular plant species had decreased by more than 20 % in plot frequency. There was a strong relationship between number of species and pH-value. The mean and standard eviation of pH in plots where the species occurred have both decreased since 1945. We interpret the changes in species richness in the richer fens to be mainly caused by acidification. This could partly be an autogenic succession, but may be enhanced by increased atmospheric deposition. The mire represents an almost untouched site which can act as a reference for mires in morepolluted areas.

  • 8.
    Hofgaard, Annika
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Ecological Botany.
    Dalen, Linda
    Hytteborn, Håkan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Ecological Botany.
    Tree recruitment above the treeline and potential for climate-driven treeline change2009In: Journal of Vegetation Science, ISSN 1100-9233, E-ISSN 1654-1103, Vol. 20, no 6, p. 1133-1144Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Questions   How do population structure and recruitment characteristics of Betula   saplings beyond the treeline vary among climatic regions, and what is   the potential for development into tree-sized individuals with   interacting grazing pressure?   Location   Scandes Mountains.   Methods   Sapling characteristics of Betula pubescens subsp. tortuosa, their   topographic position above the treeline, growth habitat and evidence of   recent grazing was investigated in three areas with a long continuous   grazing history, along a latitudinal gradient (62-69 degrees N).   Results   Saplings were common up to 100 m above the treeline in all areas. The   northern areas were characterised by small (< 30 cm) and young (mean 14   years old) saplings in exposed micro-topographic locations unfavourable   to long-term survival. In the southern area, broad height (2-183 cm)   and age (4-95 years; mean 32 years) distributions were found in   sheltered locations. Age declined with altitude in all areas. Sapling   growth rate varied within and between areas, and the age x height   interaction was significant only in the southern area. Growth rates   decreased from south to north and indicated a considerable time   required to reach tree size under prevailing conditions.   Conclusions   Regional differences can be attributed to climatic differences,   however, interacting biotic and abiotic factors such as   micro-topography, climate and herbivory, mutually affect the   characteristics of birch saplings. In view of the long time needed to   reach tree size, the generally expected evident and fast treeline   advance in response to climate warming may not be a likely short-term   scenario. The sapling pool in the southern region possesses strongest   potential for treeline advance.

  • 9.
    Hytteborn, Håkan
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
    Svensson, Brita M.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
    Kempe, Kerstin
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics.
    Press, Andreas
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics.
    Rydin, Håkan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
    Century-long tree population dynamics in a deciduous forest stand in central Sweden2017In: Journal of Vegetation Science, ISSN 1100-9233, E-ISSN 1654-1103, Vol. 28, no 5, p. 1057-1069Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Question: We quantify tree dynamics over a century of free development in a small broadleaved forest dominated by Fraxinus excelsior and Ulmus glabra. What are the internal and external factors driving the changes, and how predictable are they? What were the time scale and effects of the spread of Dutch elm disease (DED)? Location: Vårdsätra, eastern central Sweden.

    Methods: The survival, growth and recruitment of all trees (≥ 12 cm in girth) were monitored in 1912, 1967, 1988 and 2013 (more often for a part of the forest). Woody species in the field and shrub layers were surveyed in permanent plots in 1976 and 2012. We used transition matrix models to project changes in population sizes and species composition within the century and for 2050.

    Results: The results indicate that the forest was in a successional development during the first period. The species composition had stabilised by 1967, except for an expansion of Acer platanoides and the drastic effect of DED that struck the forest around 2000. It took only a decade to kill virtually all large elms in the forest, leading to strong decrease in stem density and basal area. The evidence for effects of DED is still weak, but there has been an increase in saplings, notably of Fraxinus, Prunus padus, Ulmus, and of shoots of Corylus avellana. Several species that are abundant in the vicinity and as seeds fail to establish (Picea abies, Betula spp., Quercus robur, Populus tremula). Projections for 2050 based on the third period (1988-2013) are probably unrealistic since also Fraxinus may disappear because of the recent arrival of the ash dieback.

    Conclusions: Slow dynamics in forests that could follow from climate change will locally probably be overruled by unforeseen catastrophes, such as invasions by forest pathogens. These initiate changes with long lag phases difficult to quantify. Still, a dense deciduous forest can resist invasion of colonist species and of regionally dominant conifers; the reason being unfavourable conditions for establishment rather than dispersal limitation

  • 10.
    Hytteborn, Håkan
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
    Verwijst, Theo
    Small-scale disturbance and stand structure dynamics in an old-growth Picea abies forest over 54 yr in central Sweden2014In: Journal of Vegetation Science, ISSN 1100-9233, E-ISSN 1654-1103, Vol. 25, no 1, p. 100-112Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    QuestionsCan assumptions of the existence of spatially distinct patches (delineated structurally homogeneous parts of the forest, being either areas consisting of canopy trees or areas without canopy trees but in an early or later regenerative phase) and of directional development over time of the vegetation in such patches, as implied by current theory of storm gap dynamics, be verified by remapping previous study sites? LocationNatural, unmanaged boreo-nemoral spruce-dominated forest in eastern central Sweden. MethodsBy re-mapping three plots, ca, 50yr after the first inventory, we studied the structure and dynamics of gaps (patches without canopy tree cover) and major tree populations. The old and new maps allowed us to compare two independent assessments of the forest dynamics: one based on tree population changes and one on changes in gap area over time. ResultsThe current population structure could partly be described through the earlier-encountered structures of the different tree populations and consecutive processes of recruitment and mortality. However, the re-mapping exercise showed that spatially delineated patches did not develop directionally over time, nor was their development spatially discrete. ConclusionsPatch dynamics proceeds in such a way that the fate of a single patch may depend on the development of neighbouring patches. As gaps may partly close or merge into larger gaps, and as gap disappearance rate is a function of actual gap size, performance of an initially delimited patch is largely determined by developments in neighbouring patches and cannot be predicted from its momentary patch characteristics. Consequently, we propose an open matrix model' to describe the changes in a boreo-nemoral spruce forest, rather than a storm gap dynamics' model.

  • 11.
    Lou, Yanjing
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
    Zhao, Kuiyi
    Wang, Guoping
    Jiang, Ming
    Lu, Xianguo
    Rydin, Håkan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
    Long-term changes in marsh vegetation in Sanjiang Plain, northeast China2015In: Journal of Vegetation Science, ISSN 1100-9233, E-ISSN 1654-1103, Vol. 26, no 4, p. 643-650Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    QuestionsIs there a consistent change in species composition and species richness across the communities along the wetness zonation? Which species are sensitive to environmental changes? Has species richness increased or decreased? What are the relative effects of climate, geographical position and local environmental factors on the inland marsh community? LocationSanjiang Plain, northeast China (130-133 degrees E, 45-48 degrees N). MethodsA total of 94 plots were re-surveyed in 2012 and compared with data from 1973. Detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) and indicator species analysis were used to analyse the direction and nature of change in community composition between 1973 and 2012. Paired t-test was used to test for change in species richness, water level and soil variables between the two surveys. Correlation and step-wise regression analyses were used to test the relationship between vegetation change (species richness and DCA scores), environmental variables and geographic position. ResultsVegetation has changed towards a drier state, with the greatest changes in the wettest Carex lasiocarpa community and the smallest changes in the driest Calamagrostis angustifolia community. The frequency and cover of hygrophilous species and species typical of oligotrophic wetlands decreased, while grasses and other non-marsh species increased. Species richness per community and per plot increased over time. The dynamics within each community was only weakly correlated with biogeographic predictors: longitude, latitude, elevation and annual precipitation. ConclusionsHydrology was the main factor controlling changes along the marsh zonation, and was most likely in response to climate warming and land-use changes. The different responses among the marsh communities along the zonation and between hydrophytes and other species imply that future protection and management need to be based on community type and plant functional types.

  • 12. Udd, Daniel
    et al.
    Sundberg, Sebastian
    Rydin, Håkan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
    Multi-species competition experiments with peatland bryophytes2016In: Journal of Vegetation Science, ISSN 1100-9233, E-ISSN 1654-1103, Vol. 27, no 1, p. 165-175Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Question

    Species interactions are one of the processes determining composition of plant communities. We used the community density series method to study competition in a multi-species community of bryophytes common in calcareous fens. The succession of mires is driven bySphagnum species, which are supposedly superior to brown mosses in competition for resources and space, but little is known about the environmental conditions in which brown mosses can prevail when subject to neighbour interactions. How are interactions among peatland bryophytes affected by the environment?

    Location

    Field and garden experiments near Uppsala in mid-eastern Sweden.

    Methods

    To examine the effects of environment on competition and competitive hierarchies we assembled multi-species communities of ten bryophyte species from shoot fragments (brown mosses and Sphagnum species) at two densities and grew them on three types of peat (representing poor, intermediate and rich fens) under dry or wet conditions in a garden experiment and along pH and wetness gradients in the field.

    Results

    A multivariate analysis of the garden experiment showed that community composition was affected by peat type and wetness and their interactions. The brown mosses performed better in wet and rich fens, the Sphagnum species in drier and poorer fens. The Sphagnumspecies were overall the best competitors.

    Conclusions

    The experiments demonstrated contrasting responses of brown mosses and Sphagnum to properties of the microhabitat. Sphagnumspecies were generally less affected by competition than the brown mosses. Sphagnum species were competitive in habitats typically dominated by brown mosses and even responded positively to crowding. This can explain why Sphagnum can invade calcareous fens. In contrast, brown mosses performed poorly in habitats more typical of Sphagnum species.

  • 13.
    Woldu, Zerihun
    et al.
    Addis Ababa University.
    Backéus, Ingvar
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecological Botany.
    The shrubland vegetation in western Shewa, Ethiopia and its possible recovery1991In: Journal of Vegetation Science, ISSN 1100-9233, E-ISSN 1654-1103, Vol. 2, no 2, p. 173-180Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Shrubland vegetation and environmental data in western Shewa, Ethiopia have been analysed. Vegetation data include cover-abundance values of vascular plant species; en- vironmental data comprise physical and chemical properties of the soil, altitude, slope, grazing and browsing pressure.

    The vegetation data were subjected to hierarchical and non-hierarchical classification and ordination with correspondence analysis. The classification resulted in seven different vegetation types, ranging from grassland with scattered shrubs to degen- erated forest. Ordination of the data and biplot analysis showed that the vegetation is influenced by anthropogenic factors and altitudinal variation. Sand content is related to a low level of anthropogenic influence whereas silt content is related to a high level. This is explained by historical events rather than by the present situation. Total nitrogen, organic carbon, altitude and slope are positively correlated and these variables are negatively related to anthropogenic influences.

    The shrubland vegetation may have expanded from lower altitudes and drier sites as forests gradually disappeared.

    The recovery of an economically more rewarding vegetation type may be achieved through providing alternative sources of fuel and construction and through prohibiting cultivation and grazing in the shrublands on the hillsides. Regeneration can be accelerated by actively introducing seedlings of tree species that do not need a heavy canopy cover for establishment and growth.

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