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Bryophyte colonisation and persistense in experimental grassland dominated by vascular plants

Aude, Erik and Ejrnæs, Rasmus (2003) Bryophyte colonisation and persistense in experimental grassland dominated by vascular plants. Oikos. [Unpublished]

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A three-year multi-factorial microcosms experiment simulating dry grassland was used to test five hypotheses concerning establishment and persistence of bryophytes in grassland vegetation. The experimental treatments included fertilisation, defoliation and species composition of vascular vegetation. ANOVA-modelling showed a significant response of bryophyte species richness to fertilisation (negative) and defoliation (positive). Species composition of vascular vegetation had no effect on bryophyte richness, but a significant negative relationship was found between vascular plant biomass and species richness of bryophytes. Vascular plant dry weight above 400 g m-2 appeared fatal to bryophytes. At high nutrient levels, bryophytes extinction seemed to be avoided by defoliation, but defoliation did not fully compensate for the negative effect of fertilisation on bryophyte richness. At the single species level, our experiment provided new autecological insight in the responses of Brachytecium rutabulum and Funaria hygrometrica. The relationship between bryophyte richness and bryophyte cover was shown to follow the theoretical species-area relationship, suggesting that bryophyte cover may be used as indicator of habitat quality for subordinate species such as bryophytes and lichens in grassland monitoring. The implications of the results for grassland conservation are discussed.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Biodiversity, conservation, restoration, ecology, indicators, land-use, Global Change
Subjects: Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Research affiliation: Denmark > DARCOF II (2000-2005) > III.5 Nature quality in organic farming
Deposited By: Ejrnæs, senior scientist Rasmus
ID Code:1293
Deposited On:23 Sep 2003
Last Modified:19 Nov 2013 13:29
Document Language:English
Refereed:Submitted for peer-review but not yet accepted
Additional Publishing Information:Submitted to Oikos for peer review September 15 2003

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