Folia Geobotanica

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 211–222 | Cite as

Efficient nitrogen economy: Key to the success ofPolygonum bistorta in an abandoned mountain meadow

  • Sylvie Pecháčková
  • František Krahulec
Species Coexistence in Temperate Grasslands (Proceedings of the Symposium held in Bedřichov, Czech Republic, 27 September–2 October 1993; edited by F. Krahulec, D.E. Goldberg & J.H. Willems)


The dominance ofPolygonum bistorta in abandoned mountain meadows was studied. Successional and seasonal changes in biomass, nitrogen concentration and content were studied at the community level. During the successionP. bistorta increases its biomass both in absolute and mainly in relative values compared to the surrounding species. Nitrogen stored in its rhizomes seems to be quickly translocated into above-ground parts at the beginning of the growing season. High amounts of nitrogen allow rapid growth of both vegetative and generative plant parts. The success ofP. bistorta is probably the result of efficient use of stored nitrogen, suppression of surrounding vegetation by above-ground cover of leaves and by decrease in the level of soil nitrogen, and the effect of a large amount of litter. Management consisting in the combination of mowing and fertilization is proposed.


Competitive ability Dominance Seasonal dynamics Storage Succession 


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© Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of BotanyAcademy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicPrůhoniceCzech Republic

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