Soil properties and light availability determine species richness and vegetation diversity in an overgrown coppice oak stand
Tomasz H. Szymura , Magdalena Szymura
AbstractCoppicing is uncommon in Poland; however, some remnants of a previously coppiced oak forest persist in the foothills of the Sudety Mountains (southern Poland). Some of these forests are considered as a kind of thermophilous oak forest, classified as habitat 91I0 in the European programme Natura 2000. As an example of previously coppiced sessile oak (Quercus petraea (Matt.) Liebl.) forest in Poland, the vegetation and environmental factors in the "Wa̧wóz Lipa" reserve (area 101 ha, altitude ca. 400 m a.s.l.) were surveyed. Canonical correspondence analysis showed a basic compositional gradient of vegetation related to the content of coarse fragments in the soil, light availability and soil pH. The number of species per plot was not correlated with any particular environmental variable; in general, the plant species number and cover decreased in the most exposed sites, where the heat load was highest. We hypothesize that the higher number of species in some plots was the results of an edge effect: this occurred in transitional zones between the most exposed sites, which work as refuges for light-demanding, drought-tolerant species, and less exposed sites, with vegetation typical of acidophilous oak forests. The land relief also allowed the spread of species typical of mesophilous forests, which found refuge in the shaded, wet gorges. Thus, the specific land relief, along with previous coppice management, allowed the coexistence, probably temporally, of species of plants considered typical of different habitats.
|Journal series||Polish Journal of Ecology, ISSN 1505-2249, e-ISSN 2450-1395, (A 15 pkt)|
|Publication size in sheets||0.5|
|Keywords in English||Acidophilous oak forest; Biodiversity; Edge effect; Heat load; Photosynthetically active photon flux density (PPFD); Thermophilous oak forest|
|Publication indicators||= 9; = 9; : 2011 = 0.595; : 2011 = 0.506 (2) - 2011=0.703 (5)|
* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.