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Publication Type J
Authors Tessier, M., J. P. Vivier, A. Ouin, J. C. Gloaguen and J. C. Lefeuvre
Title Vegetation dynamics and plant species interactions under grazed and ungrazed conditions in a western European salt marsh
Source Acta Oecologica-International Journal of Ecology
Author Keywords exclosures halophyte nitrogen addition plant interactions plant succession population-dynamics suaeda-maritima coastal marsh seed banks communities succession nitrogen impact establishment competition
Abstract Experiments in exclosures were conducted on a salt marsh in a macrotidal system in western France. The aim of this study was threefold: (1) to compare vegetation dynamics over a period of 8 years in grazed and ungrazed conditions (2) to investigate the response of annual species to grazing duration during seedling establishment (3) to test the effect of an increase in soil nitrogen availability after cessation of grazing on interactions between Suaeda maritima and Puccinellia maritima. In grazed conditions, during all the survey, vegetation was dominated by a short R maritima sward with the annual Salicornia europaea in the lower and middle marshes. However, after cessation of grazing in 1994, a homogeneous matrix of the forb Halimione portulacoides, quickly replaced P. maritima in the well drained lower marsh. At the middle marsh level, fine sediment and poor drainage maintained R maritima while the annual S. maritima which tolerates taller and denser vegetation replaced S. europaea. Elymus pungens cover was limited till 2000 but its rising in 2001 let expect its dominance in the future. While P. maritima abundance remained high, spring abundance of annual species such as S. europaea and S. maritima globally decreased with sheep grazing duration on the salt marsh between February and June. Experiments with monocultures of P. maritima and S. maritima demonstrated that nitrogen was a limiting factor on the salt marsh. In a mixed community, a moderate application of nitrogen (15 g N m(-2) year(-1) as NH4-NO3) promoted growth of P. maritima and limited the biomass of S. maritima, but growth of the latter was enhanced by a high application of nitrogen (30 g N m(-2) year(-1)). An increase in the abundance of annuals such as S. maritima on the salt marsh is discussed. (C) 2003 Editions scientifiques et medicales Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.
Author Address Univ Toulouse 3, CESAC, CESAC, F-31055 Toulouse 04, France ENSAT, INP, Lab Biodivers Agroecosyst, F-31326 Castanet Tolosan, France Univ Rennes 1, UMR ECOBIO 6553, F-35042 Rennes, France Tessier, M (reprint author), Univ Toulouse 3, CESAC, CESAC, 29 Rue Jeanne Marvig, F-31055 Toulouse 04, France
ISSN 1146-609X
ISBN 1146-609X
29-Character Source Abbreviation Acta Oecol.-Int. J. Ecol.
Publication Date May
Year Published 2003
Volume 24
Issue 2
Beginning Page 103-111
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) 10.1016/s1146-609x(03)00049-3
Unique Article Identifier WOS:000183319400005
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