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Seed dispersal in both space and time is necessary for plant diversity maintenance in fragmented landscapes
Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Environmental Science. Stockholm University.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6999-669X
Stockholm University.
2018 (English)In: Oikos, ISSN 0030-1299, E-ISSN 1600-0706, Vol. 127, no 6, p. 780-791Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Metacommunity theory emphasizes that seed dispersal not only limits but equally maintains plant diversity, though the latter receives little empirical attention. Discerning the temporal and spatial components of seed dispersal and understanding how their interaction shapes fragmented communities and maintains their diversity may be pivotal to further our ecological understanding of spatial and temporal seed dispersal and its implications for landscape-scale conservation management. To investigate the relative importance of spatial and temporal seed dispersal and their roles in maintaining plant diversity, the herb layer and seed bank of grassland communities were inventoried in 77 sites across abandoned and intact rotational grazing networks in a 100 km2 fragmented grassland landscape in the Stockholm archipelago (Baltic Sea, Sweden). Besides analysing alpha- and beta-diversity patterns, nestedness analyses connect deterministic community changes and diversity losses with dispersal-related life-history traits and habitat specialization to identify the mechanism driving community changes and maintaining local diversity. The loss of rotational grazing networks caused community diversity declines via non-random extinctions of spatially and temporally poor dispersers, particularly among grassland specialists. Temporal seed dispersal halted further community disassembly, maintaining diversity in the abandoned grazing networks. Spatial dispersal within the intact grazing networks was found to be an overriding, homogenizing agent conserving diversity in both the herb layer and seed bank. This empirical evidence establishes how spatial and temporal seed dispersal interact to maintain diversity in fragmented landscapes. Poorly connected grasslands appear limited by spatial dispersal, yet are maintained by temporal seed dispersal. In fragmented landscapes where grazing networks are rarely present, temporal rather than spatial seed dispersal may be more important in maintaining species diversity, since effective spatial dispersal may be significantly diminished. The grazing network's efficacy at boosting spatial dispersal and upholding community diversity presents a powerful management tool to conserve local and regional species diversity. © 2017 The Authors

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 127, no 6, p. 780-791
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-35685DOI: 10.1111/oik.04813ISI: 000434153600003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85048053838OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-35685DiVA, id: diva2:1222517
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European StudiesAvailable from: 2018-06-21 Created: 2018-06-21 Last updated: 2018-06-28Bibliographically approved

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Plue, Jan

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