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Authors Godo, L; Orsolya, V; Bela, T; Torok, P; Kelemen, A; Deak, B
Author Full Name Godo, Laura; Orsolya Valko; Bela Tothmeresz; Torok, Peter; Kelemen, Andras; Deak, Balazs
Title Scale-dependent effects of grazing on the species richness of alkaline and sand grasslands
Source TUEXENIA
Language English
Document Type Article
Author Keywords grassland management; grassland specialist species; pasture; plot size; scale; spatial heterogeneity
Keywords Plus PLANT DIVERSITY; VEGETATION; BIODIVERSITY; MANAGEMENT; PATTERNS; SYSTEMS; TOOL
Abstract Extensively managed pastures harbour rare and endangered species and have a decisive role in maintaining grassland biodiversity. Traditional herding of local robust cattle breeds is considered as a feasible tool for preserving these habitats. We studied the scale-dependent effects of grazing on the species richness and composition of three dry grassland types in the Great Hungarian Plain: Achilleo setaceae-Festucetum pseudovinae and Artemisio santonici-Festucetumpseudovinae alkaline grasslands, and Potentillo arenariae-Festucetum pseudovinae sand grassland. We asked the following questions: (1) Does extensive grazing have a scale-dependent effect on plant species richness of alkaline and sand grasslands? (2) How does grazing affect the proportion of specialists, generalists and weeds in the three grassland types? We sampled ten sites of each grassland type, including five extensively grazed and five non-grazed sites (altogether we had 30 sites). We used a series of nested plots each consisting of 10 plots from the size of 0.01 m(2) to 16 m2. We revealed that grazing has contrasting effects in the three grassland types, and had a considerable effect on their species richness even at small scales. In both alkaline grassland types, total species richness was overall higher in grazed plots but it increased in a similar manner for both ungrazed and grazed habitats across plot sizes. Small-scale heterogeneity likely due to the uneven distribution of grazing, trampling and defecation together with mitigated rate of competition allowed more species to co-exist even at small scales in grazed alkaline grasslands. Grazing increased the richness of specialists, but likely due to the salt stress, establishment of weeds was hampered. Open gaps formed by trampling likely supported the establishment of several specialist species such as Plantago tenuiflora and Puccinellia limosa which are typical to open alkali grasslands. Contrary, in sand grasslands, we did not detect any effect of grazing on total species richness, likely due to the adverse effect of grazing on the species richness of specialists and weeds. In contrast with the former findings we detected significantly higher species richness in 0.01 m(2) and 0.0625 m(2) plots in the grazed sand grasslands, but found no differences at larger scales. Whilst species richness of specialists was significantly decreased, richness of weeds was increased by grazing. Decrease in the specialist species richness was likely due to the lack of their evolutionary adaptation to grazing. Degradation caused by grazing and trampling together with the propagule pressure from the neighbouring anthropogenic habitats resulted in an increased richness of weeds in the grazed sites.
Author Address [Godo, Laura; Bela Tothmeresz; Kelemen, Andras; Deak, Balazs] Univ Debrecen, Dept Ecol, Egyet Ter 1, H-4032 Debrecen, Hungary; [Orsolya Valko; Bela Tothmeresz] MTA DE Biodivers & Ecosyst Serv Res Grp, Egyet Ter 1, H-4032 Debrecen, Hungary; [Torok, Peter] MTA DE Lendiilet Funct & Restorat Ecol Res Grp, Egyet Ter 1, H-4032 Debrecen, Hungary; [Kelemen, Andras] MTA TKI, MTAs Post Doctoral Res Program, Nador Utca 7, H-1051 Budapest, Hungary
Reprint Address Torok, P (corresponding author), MTA DE Lendiilet Funct & Restorat Ecol Res Grp, Egyet Ter 1, H-4032 Debrecen, Hungary.
E-mail Address molinia@gmail.com
ResearcherID Number Valko, Orsolya/Q-1061-2016; Peter, Torok/C-5514-2008
ORCID Number Valko, Orsolya/0000-0001-7919-6293; Peter, Torok/0000-0002-4428-3327
Funding Agency and Grant Number Bolyai Janos Research Fellowship of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences during manuscript writing; MTA's Post Doctoral Research Program; Human Capacities Grant Management Office and the Hungarian Ministry of Human Capacities [NTP-NFTO-16-0068, NTP-NFT0-16-0107]; [OTKA PD 115627]; [OTKA PD 111807]; [OTKA K 116639]; [NKFIH K 119225]
Funding Text Authors were supported by OTKA PD 115627, OTKA PD 111807, OTKA K 116639 and NKFIH K 119225 research grants. BD and OV were supported by the Bolyai Janos Research Fellowship of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences during manuscript writing. AK was funded by the MTA's Post Doctoral Research Program. LG and OV were supported by the Human Capacities Grant Management Office and the Hungarian Ministry of Human Capacities (NTP-NFTO-16-0068; NTP-NFT0-16-0107).
Times Cited 8
Total Times Cited Count (WoS, BCI, and CSCD) 8
Publisher FLORISTISCH-SOZIOLOGISCHEN ARBEITSGEMEINSCHAFT E V
Publisher City GOETTINGEN
Publisher Address WILHELM-WEBER-STRASSE 2, GOETTINGEN, 00000, GERMANY
ISSN 0722-494X
29-Character Source Abbreviation TUEXENIA
ISO Source Abbreviation Tuexenia
Year Published 2017
Issue 37
Beginning Page 229
Ending Page 246
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) 10.14471/2017.37.016
Page Count 18
Web of Science Category Plant Sciences
Subject Category Plant Sciences
Document Delivery Number FH8BX
Unique Article Identifier WOS:000411417900011
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