Plant diversity changes and succession along resource availability and disturbance gradients in Kamchatka View Full Text


Ontology type: schema:ScholarlyArticle     


Article Info

DATE

2013-02-13

AUTHORS

Jiří Doležal, Valentine Yakubov, Toshihiko Hara

ABSTRACT

Changes in plant species richness across environmental and temporal gradients have often been explained by the intermediate disturbance hypothesis and a unimodal diversity–productivity relationship. We tested these predictions using two sets of mountain plant communities assembled along postglacial successional and snow depth (disturbance and stress) gradients in maritime Kamchatka. In each community, we counted the number of species in plots of increasing sizes (0.0025–100 m2) and analyzed them using species–area curves fitted by the Arrhenius power function and the Gleason logarithmic function. A comparison of successional communities along a 270-year-old moraine chronosequence behind the receding Koryto Glacier—representing gradients of increasing productivity and resource competition—confirmed the unimodal species richness pattern. The plant diversity peaked in a 60–80-year-old Salix–Alnus stand where light availability was sufficient to sustain a rich understory combining pioneer and late successional herbs. The closed Alnus canopy on older moraines caused a pronounced decrease in species richness for all plot sizes (interactive stage 80–120 years since deglaciation). A slight increase in species richness in the oldest assortative stages (120–270 years), when Alnus stands are mature, was found only at the smaller spatial scales. This reflects (i) the consolidation of clonal understory dominants and (ii) the absence of other woody species such as Betula ermanii whose invasion would eliminate Alnus and increase diversity at larger spatial scales. A comparative study of major mountain plant communities distributed above the Koryto Glacier foreland did not confirm the highest species richness at intermediate levels of disturbance and stress. Contrary to our expectation, the species richness was highest in alpine tundra and snowbed communities, which are subjected to severe winter frost and a short summer season, while less disturbed communities of subalpine meadows, heaths, and Betula ermanii woods were less species-rich. We attribute this pattern to differences in habitat area and species pool size. More... »

PAGES

477-488

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/s11258-013-0184-z

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11258-013-0184-z

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1000573806


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