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Ludewig, K., Hanke, J. M., Wuthe, B., Otte, A., Mosner, E., Eckstein, R. L. & Donath, T. W. (2018). Differential effect of drought regimes on the seedling performance of six floodplain grassland species. Plant Biology, 20(4), 691-697
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Differential effect of drought regimes on the seedling performance of six floodplain grassland species
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2018 (English)In: Plant Biology, ISSN 1435-8603, E-ISSN 1438-8677, Vol. 20, no 4, p. 691-697Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The performance of seedlings is crucial for the survival and persistence of plant populations. Although drought frequently occurs in floodplains and can cause seedling mortality, studies on the effects of drought on seedlings of floodplain grasslands are scarce. We tested the hypotheses that drought reduces aboveground biomass, total biomass, plant height, number of leaves, leaf area and specific leaf area (SLA), and increases root biomass and root-mass fraction (RMF) and that seedlings from species of wet floodplain grasslands are more affected by drought than species of dry grasslands. In a greenhouse study, we exposed seedlings of three confamilial pairs of species (Pimpinella saxifraga, Selinum carvifolia, Veronica teucrium, Veronica maritima, Sanguisorba minor, Sanguisorba officinalis) to increasing drought treatments. Within each plant family, one species is characteristic of wet and one of dry floodplain grasslands, confamilial in order to avoid phylogenetic bias of the results. In accordance with our hypotheses, drought conditions reduced aboveground biomass, total biomass, plant height, number of leaves and leaf area. Contrary to our hypotheses, drought conditions increased SLA and decreased root biomass and RMF of seedlings. Beyond the effects of the families, the results were species-specific (V. maritima being the most sensitive species) and habitat-specific. Species indicative of wet floodplain grasslands appear to be more sensitive to drought than species indicative of dry grasslands. Because of species- and habitat-specific responses to reduced water availability, future drought periods due to climate change may severely affect some species from dry and wet habitats, while others may be unaffected.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell, 2018
Keywords
Climate change, Drought duration, Drought frequency, Ellenberg values, Pimpinella, Sanguisorba, Selinum, Veronica
National Category
Economics Other Agricultural Sciences Biological Sciences
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-67279 (URN)10.1111/plb.12722 (DOI)000435810800006 ()2-s2.0-85045271056 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2018-05-04 Created: 2018-05-04 Last updated: 2018-08-15Bibliographically approved
Hattermann, D., Bernhardt-Römermann, M., Otte, A. & Eckstein, R. L. (2018). New insights into island vegetation composition and species diversity: Consistent and conditional responses across contrasting insular habitats at the plot-scale. PLoS ONE, 13(7), Article ID e0200191.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>New insights into island vegetation composition and species diversity: Consistent and conditional responses across contrasting insular habitats at the plot-scale
2018 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 13, no 7, article id e0200191Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Most island-ecology studies focus on the properties of entire island communities, thus neglecting species-environment relationships operating at the habitat-level. Habitat-specific variation in the strength and sign of these relationships will conceal patterns observed on the island scale and may preclude a mechanistic interpretation of patterns and processes. Habitat-specific species-environment relationships may also depend on the descriptor of ecological communities. This paper presents a comprehensive plot-based analysis of local vegetation composition and species diversity (species richness and species evenness) of (i) rocky shore, (ii) semi-natural grassland and (iii) coniferous forest habitats in three Baltic archipelagos in Sweden. To identify differences and consistencies between habitats and descriptors, we assessed the relative contributions of the variable-sets “region”, “topography”, “soil morphology”, “soil fertility”, “soil water”, “light availability”, “distance” and “island configuration” on local vegetation composition, species richness and species evenness. We quantified the impact of “management history” on the descriptors of local grassland communities by a newly introduced grazing history index (GHI). Unlike species diversity, changes in vegetation composition were related to most of the variable-sets. The relative contributions of the variable-sets were mostly habitat-specific and strongly contingent on the descriptor involved. Within each habitat, richness and evenness were only partly affected by the same variable-sets, and if so, their relative contribution varied between diversity proxies. Across all habitats, soil variable-sets showed highly consistent effects on vegetation composition and species diversity and contributed most to the variance explained. GHI was a powerful predictor, explaining high proportions of variation in all three descriptors of grassland species communities. The proportion of unexplained variance was habitat-specific, possibly reflecting a community maturity gradient. Our results reveal that species richness alone is an incomplete representation of local species diversity. Finally, we stress the need of including habitat-based approaches when analyzing complex species-environment relationships on islands.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
San Fransisco: Public Library of Science, 2018
Keywords
PLANT DIVERSITY, VASCULAR PLANTS, LAND-USE, ENVIRONMENTAL-FACTORS, DISTRIBUTION PATTERNS, FINNISH ARCHIPELAGO, LANDSCAPE STRUCTURE, LOCAL FACTORS, RICHNESS, MANAGEMENT
National Category
Ecology Botany
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-69042 (URN)10.1371/journal.pone.0200191 (DOI)000437809500075 ()2-s2.0-85049529137 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2018-09-05 Created: 2018-09-05 Last updated: 2018-10-18Bibliographically approved
Loydi, A., Eckstein, R. L., Gebauer, T., Ludewig, K., Otte, A., Reisdorff, C., . . . Donath, T. W. (2018). Opposite effects of litter and hemiparasites on a dominant grass under different water regimes and competition levels. Plant Ecology, 219(2), 133-144
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Opposite effects of litter and hemiparasites on a dominant grass under different water regimes and competition levels
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2018 (English)In: Plant Ecology, ISSN 1385-0237, E-ISSN 1573-5052, Vol. 219, no 2, p. 133-144Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Direct and indirect biotic interactions may affect plant growth and development, but the magnitude of these effects may vary depending on environmental conditions. In grassland ecosystems, competition is a strong structuring force. Nonetheless, if hemiparasitic plant species are introduced the competition intensity caused by the dominant species may be affected. However, the outcome of these interactions may change between wet or dry periods. In order to study this, we performed a pot experiment with different densities of the dominant species Schedonorus arundinaceus (1, 2 or 4 individuals) under constantly moist or intermittently dry conditions. The different Schenodorus densities were crossed with presence or absence of hemiparasites (either Rhinanthus minor or R. alectorolophus). Additionally, pots remained with bare ground or received a grass litter layer (400 g m(-2)). We expected that indirect litter effects on vegetation (here Schedonorus or Rhinanthus) vary depending on soil moisture. We measured Schedonorus and Rhinanthus aboveground biomass and C stable isotope signature (delta C-13) as response variables. Overall, Schedonorus attained similar biomass under moist conditions with Rhinanthus as in pots under dry conditions without Rhinanthus. Presence of Rhinanthus also increased delta C-13 in moist pots, indicating hemiparasite-induced water stress. Litter presence increased Schedonorus biomass and reduced delta C-13, indicating improved water availability. Plants under dry conditions with litter showed similar biomass as under wet conditions without litter. Hemiparasites and litter had opposite effects: hemiparasites reduced Schedonorus biomass while litter presence facilitated grass growth. Contrary to our expectations, litter did not compensate Schedonorus biomass when Rhinanthus was present.

National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-66186 (URN)10.1007/s11258-017-0783-1 (DOI)000423142400002 ()
Available from: 2018-02-09 Created: 2018-02-09 Last updated: 2018-06-12Bibliographically approved
Ruehl, A. T., Eckstein, R. L., Otte, A. & Donath, T. W. (2016). Distinct germination response of endangered and common arable weeds to reduced water potential. Plant Biology, 18, 83-90
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Distinct germination response of endangered and common arable weeds to reduced water potential
2016 (English)In: Plant Biology, ISSN 1435-8603, E-ISSN 1438-8677, Vol. 18, p. 83-90Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Arable weeds are one of the most endangered species groups in Europe. Modern agriculture and intensive land-use management are the main causes of their dramatic decline. However, besides the changes in land use, climate change may further challenge the adaptability of arable weeds. Therefore, we investigated the response pattern of arable weeds to different water potential and temperature regimes during the phase of germination. We expected that endangered arable weeds would be more sensitive to differences in water availability and temperature than common arable weeds. To this end, we set up a climate chamber experiment where we exposed seeds of five familial pairs of common and endangered arable weed species to different temperatures (5/15, 10/20 degrees C) and water potentials (0.0 to -1.2 MPa). The results revealed a significant relationship between the reaction of arable weed species to water availability and their Red List status. The effects of reduced water availability on total germination, mean germination time and synchrony were significantly stronger in endangered than in common arable weeds. Therefore, global climate change may present a further threat to the survival of endangered arable weed species.

Keywords
Agro-environment scheme, biodiversity, climatic changes, endangered plant species, land-use change
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-41177 (URN)10.1111/plb.12331 (DOI)000369973800011 ()25786499 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2016-03-30 Created: 2016-03-30 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved
Ruehl, A. T., Donath, T. W., Otte, A. & Eckstein, R. L. (2016). Impacts of short-term germination delay on fitness of the annual weed Agrostemma githago (L.). Seed Science Research, 26(2), 93-100
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Impacts of short-term germination delay on fitness of the annual weed Agrostemma githago (L.)
2016 (English)In: Seed Science Research, ISSN 0960-2585, E-ISSN 1475-2735, Vol. 26, no 2, p. 93-100Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Time of seedling emergence is an important step in the life cycle of annual plants because it may determine subsequent performance and success. Timing of emergence is especially critical to plant performance in habitats like arable fields which are subject to frequent disturbances. Within-season variation in timing of germination in the range of only a few days is typical for many arable weeds. However, since it is unclear whether such small deviations in germination date translate into fitness differences in the course of the life cycle, the aim of this paper was to quantify the effects of short germination delays on plant performance. We conducted two generalized randomized block experiments in an unheated greenhouse to study the impact of delayed germination (1, 2, 3 and 7 d) with and without competition, respectively, on the fitness of the arable weed species Agrostemma githago (L.). We expected that delayed germination significantly reduces fitness in terms of several life-history traits, and that the decrease of fitness is higher in the presence of competition. Under realistic conditions with competition through barley, Agrostemma plants with delayed germination of 7 d produced 54% fewer shoots, 57% less biomass, 52% fewer flowers, 36% lighter seeds and were 23% shorter as compared to control plants without delayed germination. Without additional stress through competition with barley this pattern was less pronounced. Thus, in the situation of interspecific competition, early emerging seedlings have biologically significant fitness advantages over later emerging seedlings of the same species.

Keywords
arable weeds, asynchronous germination, interspecific competition, life-history traits
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-44657 (URN)10.1017/S0960258516000106 (DOI)000378721200001 ()
Available from: 2016-08-12 Created: 2016-08-12 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
Ludewig, K., Donath, T. W., Zelle, B., Eckstein, R. L., Mosner, E., Otte, A. & Jensen, K. (2015). Effects of Reduced Summer Precipitation on Productivity and Forage Quality of Floodplain Meadows at the Elbe and the Rhine River. PLoS ONE, 10(5), Article ID e0124140.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effects of Reduced Summer Precipitation on Productivity and Forage Quality of Floodplain Meadows at the Elbe and the Rhine River
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2015 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 10, no 5, article id e0124140Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Floodplain meadows along rivers are semi-natural habitats and depend on regular land use. When used non-intensively, they offer suitable habitats for many plant species including rare ones. Floodplains are hydrologically dynamic ecosystems with both periods of flooding and of dry conditions. In German floodplains, dry periods may increase due to reduced summer precipitation as projected by climate change scenarios. Against this background, the question arises, how the forage quantity and quality of these meadows might change in future.

Methods

We report results of two field trials that investigated effects of experimentally reduced summer precipitation on hay quantity and quality of floodplain meadows at the Rhine River (2011-2012) and at two Elbe tributaries (2009-2011). We measured annual yield, the amount of hay biomass, and contents of crude protein, crude fibre, energy, fructan, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

Results

The annual yield decreased under precipitation reduction at the Rhine River. This was due to reduced productivity in the second cut hay at the Rhine River in which, interestingly, the contents of nitrogen and crude protein increased. The first cut at the Rhine River was unaffected by the treatments. At the Elbe tributaries, the annual yield and the hay quantity and quality of both cuts were only marginally affected by the treatments.

Conclusion

We conclude that the yield of floodplain meadows may become less reliable in future since the annual yield decreased under precipitation reduction at the Rhine River. However, the first and agriculturally more important cut was almost unaffected by the precipitation reduction, which is probably due to sufficient soil moisture from winter/spring. As long as future water levels of the rivers will not decrease during spring, at least the use of the hay from the first cut of floodplain meadows appears reliable under climate change.

National Category
Botany
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-37591 (URN)10.1371/journal.pone.0124140 (DOI)000354214400012 ()25950730 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2015-08-24 Created: 2015-08-20 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
Ruehl, A. T., Eckstein, R. L., Otte, A. & Donath, T. W. (2015). Future challenge for endangered arable weed species facing global warming: Low temperature optima and narrow moisture requirements. Biological Conservation, 182, 262-269
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Future challenge for endangered arable weed species facing global warming: Low temperature optima and narrow moisture requirements
2015 (English)In: Biological Conservation, ISSN 0006-3207, E-ISSN 1873-2917, Vol. 182, p. 262-269Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

As a result of the intensification of agriculture in Central Europe, many arable weed species have declined. Global climate change may further challenge the adaptability of arable weeds since plants may be more often subjected to higher temperatures and lower soil moisture during the germination period.

A climate chamber experiment analysed the response of four familial pairs of common and endangered arable weeds from Germany. To this end we used a large range of temperatures and water potentials to assess specific traits defining their germination requirements. Using a simple response surface approach, we predicted germination response under three climate change scenarios.Results supported our expectation that endangered species, owing to their narrow germination requirements, may be more negatively affected by global warming than common species. Endangered species germinated significantly less than the common arable weeds, except at very low temperatures (3 °C and 5 °C). The preference of endangered arable weed species for low germination temperatures was confirmed by their low optimal germination temperature (15.8 °C ± 0.4). In contrast, common species germinated at significant higher temperatures (optimal temperature 18.4 °C ± 0.2), had a significantly wider range of germination temperature (endangered: 24 °C ± 3.5, common: 31 °C ± 0.5) and were also more flexible towards changes in water potential.Calculations based on response surfaces for three climate change scenarios indicated that endangered arable weed species may benefit less from climate warming than common species.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2015
Keywords
Biodiversity; Climate change; Extinction risk; Germination niche; Rare plant species; Temperature; Water availability
National Category
Botany
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-37593 (URN)10.1016/j.biocon.2014.12.012 (DOI)000349501400032 ()
Available from: 2015-08-24 Created: 2015-08-20 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
Loydi, A., Donath, T. W., Otte, A. & Eckstein, R. L. (2015). Negative and positive interactions among plants: effects of competitors and litter on seedling emergence and growth of forest and grassland species. Plant Biology, 17(3), 667-675
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Negative and positive interactions among plants: effects of competitors and litter on seedling emergence and growth of forest and grassland species
2015 (English)In: Plant Biology, ISSN 1435-8603, E-ISSN 1438-8677, Vol. 17, no 3, p. 667-675Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Living plant neighbours, but also their dead aboveground remains (i.e. litter), may individually exert negative or positive effects on plant recruitment. Although living plants and litter co-occur in most ecosystems, few studies have addressed their combined effects, and conclusions are ambivalent. Therefore, we examined the response in terms of seedling emergence and growth of herbaceous grassland and forest species to different litter types and amounts and the presence of competitors. We conducted a pot experiment testing the effects of litter type (grass, oak), litter amount (low, medium, high) and interspecific competition (presence or absence of four Festuca arundinacea individuals) on seedling emergence and biomass of four congeneric pairs of hemicryptophytes from two habitat types (woodland, grassland). Interactions between litter and competition were weak. Litter presence increased competitor biomass. It also had positive effects on seedling emergence at low litter amounts and negative effects at high litter amounts, while competition had no effect on seedling emergence. Seedling biomass was negatively affected by the presence of competitors, and this effect was stronger in combination with high amounts of litter. Litter affected seedling emergence while competition determined the biomass of the emerged individuals, both affecting early stages of seedling recruitment. High litter accumulation also reduced seedling biomass, but this effect seemed to be additive to competitor effects. This suggests that live and dead plant mass can affect species recruitment in natural systems, but the mechanisms by which they operate and their timing differ

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2015
Keywords
Campanula; Galium; Poa; Rumex; competition; facilitation; germination; oak (Quercus robur L.); plant recruitment; plant-plant interactions; seedling biomass; seedling emergence
National Category
Botany
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-37592 (URN)10.1111/plb.12287 (DOI)000353057300010 ()25381837 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2015-08-24 Created: 2015-08-20 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
Loydi, A., Donath, T. W., Eckstein, R. L. & Otte, A. (2015). Non-native species litter reduces germination and growth of resident forbs and grasses: allelopathic, osmotic or mechanical effects?. Biological Invasions, 17(2), 581-595
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Non-native species litter reduces germination and growth of resident forbs and grasses: allelopathic, osmotic or mechanical effects?
2015 (English)In: Biological Invasions, ISSN 1387-3547, E-ISSN 1573-1464, Vol. 17, no 2, p. 581-595Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Non-native plant species may contain allelopathic substances that might help to out-compete native vegetation. These allelochemicals may be released from live or dead plant tissues and be accumulated in the soil. We tested whether non-native species leaf litter and their leachates reduced seedling establishment and growth of native species. We subjected seeds of six native species to the effect of litter leachates of three of the most important invasive plants in Europe and to mannitol solutions with similar osmotic potential in germination chamber experiments. Additionally, we measured the effect of the same litter on emergence and growth of the native species in an outdoor pot experiment. Litter leachates delayed and reduced germination and affected initial root growth of all native species. The effects of leachates were significantly higher than those of mannitol, indicating the action of toxic, most probably allelochemical substances. Emergence of seedlings in pots was also reduced, but total biomass per pot was not affected and biomass per seedling increased. Allelochemicals may affect germination and early stages of seedling recruitment. However, these negative effects seem to cease shortly after germination, when other mechanisms such as competition may be more important. Consequently, litter-borne allelochemicals are unlikely to drive the invasion of the studied non-native species, but they may contribute to maintain mono-dominant stands reinforcing invasion success.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2015
Keywords
Impatiens glandulifera Royle, Allelochemichals. Litter leachates, Lupinus polyphyllus Lindl.
National Category
Botany
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-37594 (URN)10.1007/s10530-014-0750-x (DOI)000348149700006 ()
Available from: 2015-08-24 Created: 2015-08-20 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
Bienau, M. J., Kröncke, M., Eiserhardt, W., Otte, A., Graae, B., Hagen, D., . . . Eckstein, R. L. (2015). Synchronous flowering despite differences in snowmelt timing among habitats of Empetrum hermaphroditum. Acta Oecologica, 69, 129-136
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Synchronous flowering despite differences in snowmelt timing among habitats of Empetrum hermaphroditum
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2015 (English)In: Acta Oecologica, ISSN 1146-609X, E-ISSN 1873-6238, Vol. 69, p. 129-136Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The topography within arctic-alpine landscapes is very heterogeneous, resulting in diverse snow distribution patterns, with different snowmelt timing in spring. This may influence the phenological development of arctic and alpine plant species and asynchronous flowering may promote adaptation of plants to their local environments.We studied how flowering phenology of the dominant dwarf shrub Empetrum hermaphroditum varied among three habitats (exposed ridges, sheltered depressions and birch forest) differing in winter snow depth and thus snowmelt timing in spring, and whether the observed patterns were consistent across three different study areas.Despite significant differences in snowmelt timing between habitats, full flowering of E. hermaphroditum was nearly synchronous between the habitats, and implies a high flowering overlap. Our data show that exposed ridges, which had a long lag phase between snowmelt and flowering, experienced different temperature and light conditions than the two late melting habitats between snowmelt and flowering.Our study demonstrates that small scale variation seems matter less to flowering of Empetrum than interannual differences in snowmelt timing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2015
Keywords
Empetrum; Empetrum hermaphroditum
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-42337 (URN)10.1016/j.actao.2015.10.005 (DOI)2-s2.0-84944900676 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2016-06-07 Created: 2016-05-23 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
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ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-6953-3855

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